Ad Council Creates Internet Safety Coalition

Media, Marketers Join to Keep Teens Safe Online

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Working with marketers, media and nonprofit organizations, the Ad Council has launched the Internet Safety Coalition to educate teens about online safety through a program called "Beware What You Share."

Coalition members include AOL, AT&T, Comcast, Google, Interactive Advertising Bureau, IBM, Microsoft Corp., MTV Networks, MySpace, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, New York Times Co., Time Warner, Verizon Wireless, Wireless Foundation and Yahoo, as well as other leading cybersafety organizations.

To promote safety, the Internet Safety Coalition worked with Merkley+Partners, New York, on a research-based program called "Beware What You Share," telling teens that posting information online isn't private and that if they wouldn't broadcast it in real life, they shouldn't share it digitally.

Creative materials, developed by GrapeVine Productions, Burbank, Calif., feature the tagline, "If you wouldn't wear it, don't share it." Materials include online videos, banners, logo visuals, brochure templates and social media messaging.

Coalition members will use these messages in their marketing and communications efforts. For example, AOL is integrating the messaging into content on the AOL home page cause module, its SafetyClicks blog, AOL SafeSocial parent resource center and JSYK teen site. Microsoft is promoting the coalition on its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube online safety platforms and includes blog posts on its security and privacy blogs. MTV plans to post messaging on its social media channels, and Yahoo will use the videos on its Yahoo Safely site and run an on-network banner campaign.

"We know that targeted and consistent communications programs have the power to change attitudes and behaviors regarding a multitude of social issues," said Peggy Conlon, president-CEO of the Advertising Council in announcing the program. "By providing a range of organizations with research-based messages, this effort will encourage teens to be smart about what they post, which will ultimately help keep our children safer."