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Brands back anti-bullying campaign

News, 23 October 2015

NEW YORK: Leading media and consumer brands, including Apple, Facebook and Johnson & Johnson, are among a coalition of partners that have launched a new campaign seeking to empower teens to speak up when they see bullying.

Adobe, Google, YouTube and Twitter are also partners in the scheme, with each providing significant exposure and customised content on their platforms. There will be activations on BuzzFeed, Instagram, Kik, Pandora, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vevo, We Heart It and Whisper as well.

Led by the Ad Council, a non-profit which seeks to improve the lives of Americans through public service advertising, I Am A Witness is a digital-focused campaign featuring a new eye emoji that witnesses to bullying can use to show support for someone who is being bullied by posting it online or through a text message.

Some 90% of teens ages 12-17 who have witnessed some form of online cruelty say they have ignored mean behaviour on social media, and more than a third (35%) have done this frequently.

But research has shown that a bystander can play a pivotal role in stopping bullying and the new campaign aims to activate the silent majority of kids who witness it each day and get them to the eye emoji and other creative assets – which are available on IWitnessBullying.org, a website created on Tumblr – to speak up, be a friend and reject bullying.

"Emojis have become a second language for teens, and they provide a relevant and easy way to get involved," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council.

"Through this extraordinary collaboration of media, non-profit, and corporate partners, along with influencers that teens look up to, we will transform witnesses from passive bystanders into a united, empowered and active collective that will speak up against bullying."

Data sourced from Ad Council; additional content by Warc staff