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O2 joins the Conscious Advertising Network to fight 5G misinformation

David Murphy

UK mobile network operator, O2, has become the newest member of the The Conscious Advertising Network (CAN), a voluntary coalition of over 70 organisations set up to ensure that industry ethics catches up with the technology of modern advertising.
O2 has worked closely with industry partners and the Government to share a range of content across social and earned media to help educate people on the facts around 5G conspiracy theories. Through its partnership with CAN, and in particular the support of its Fake News manifesto, O2 is adding an extra layer of support in combating 5G misinformation.

O2 said it is committed to protecting frontline engineers and informing the public about the misinformation surrounding conspiracy theories connecting 5G with the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been cases of public harassment of engineers who work so that Britain can stay connected and conspiracy theorists are damaging and vandalising5G, 4G and 3G mobile masts.

O2 said it has joined CAN, not only to support the fight against the spread of fake news, but also, to help raise awareness of where brands and advertisers’ ad spend is going. Brands need to be conscious of the sites they fund through their ad spend and the type of content they report on, as well as the possibility of appearing alongside misleading content that could risk their reputation.

“As the first network operator to join CAN we are marking our commitment to helping the industry establish clear ethics and practices that positively impact customers’ lives and wellbeing, said O2 CMO, Nina Bibby. “The misinformation around 5G is just one example of the damage that fake news can cause. As a provider of technology, it is our responsibility to ensure it is used as a positive force for good and we look forward to working together with CAN to help tackle these industry challenges.”

CAN was created to eradicate ad fraud, ensure that content is as diverse as the people who make up the industry and to prevent brands from funding fake news or hate speech. Its mission is to stop advertising abuse, by highlighting the conscious choices advertisers and agencies make to ensure good practice.

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