We’re supporting Safer Internet Day 2019.
What is it?
Coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the day calls for people everywhere to consider how we can contribute to creating a better and safer online community. The slogan ‘Together for a better Internet’ aims to see hundreds of organisations join a national conversation about a responsible and creative use of technology.
As parents, young people, teachers, policy makers, platforms and internet users, we can all work towards and support a safer online environment. The internet is for everyone, and we should feel confident in people of all ages using it.
Where do we come in?
We work year-round to play our part in ensuring online advertising is safe – that it doesn’t mislead, is not harmful or offensive and that sufficient protections are in place for vulnerable audiences.
Misleadingness makes up around 70% per cent of our work and our ambition is to make every ad a responsible ad. Consumers should be able to trust the ads they see and hear, wherever they appear.
A large proportion of our work deals with online ads – in 2017, 88% of the 7,099 ads we removed or got amended last year were online ads, either in whole in part.
It’s our job to ensure advertisers stick to the rules and we place a particular emphasis on protecting children. For age-restricted products such as gambling, alcohol and foods high in fat, salt or sugar, there are targeting restrictions to help reduce exposure of children (under-16s) to inappropriate ads and, where they do see them, strict content rules that ensure ads are not likely to be of particular appeal.
What are we doing?
We introduced guidance in 2017 that helps advertisers target their ads responsibly with child audiences in mind. There’s also guidance designed to ensure that children under 12 can easily recognise ads as ads.
Advertisers have to prove that they’ve filtered out users whose browsing behaviour or profiles indicate they might be age-inappropriate. For example, we banned an in-app gambling ad that was seen by a seven-year old child on a shared device, where we ruled that the advertiser should have done more to minimise the likelihood of under 18s seeing the ad.
Recently, we’ve done a lot of work addressing posts by social media influencers who do not properly disclose posts that are paid for and controlled by a brand. Consumers should always know when the content they engage with is an ad.
We’re also furthering our understanding of the ads children are exposed to by conducting research into exactly what ads children see to determine whether suitable protections are in place.
We’re working together - as part of the UK Safer Internet Centre’s initiative - towards a better and safer internet for everyone.
For more information on Safer Internet Day, visit their website.