Online trolls are a real issue for brands and an increasing number are speaking out against them to protect the stars of their adverts and highlight the abuse. Dealing with hate speech can be difficult and new research from We Are Social found that 89 per cent of brands hide or delete such comments.
What’s more, hateful content being removed from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has risen by 42 per cent since 2016, according to figures from the EU Commission.
Hiding this ever-increasing problem isn’t the answer to tackling it, however, and a number of brands are speaking out against the worrying trend. Under the banner of #TogetherAgainstHate, Channel 4 has brought together companies such as Mars, McCain and Nationwide to highlight the issue.
On September 7th, an ad break takeover was staged in which abuse targeted at those featured in the brands’ adverts was overlaid on the campaigns to show the racist, homophobic and violent comments to the audience.
Sara Bennison, CMO at Nationwide, told Marketing Week: “This is not just annoying and dangerous for advertisers, this is a societal problem that is incredibly damaging and yet we seem to be letting it exist. “There’s a duty of care that comes from how you wrap your arms around the talent you use and help them stand up to this in a way that is positive.”