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Advertisers try to corral social media and the metaverse

Something called GARM, which stands for Global Alliance for Responsible Media, has produced a new set of guidelines for digital media including the metaverse. This sounds rather like herding cats but GARM is supported by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and various national bodies so presumably has some clout.

The GARM misinformation guidelines have been developed with the European Commission an NGO partners such as Consumers International, Reporters without Borders, ADL and NAACP.

WFA CEO Stephan Loerke says: “While digital media owners tend to be global players, it’s vital that we also take these vital controls down to a local market level. Brand safety standards also need to be applied by all digital media owners so that advertisers can be sure that their messages aren’t funding bad actors or appearing against content that damages their standing in the eyes of their customers.

Procter & Gamble chief brand officer Marc Pritchard says: “GARM has achieved much in short space of time – more aligned definitions of harmful content, enhanced measures, and the introduction of adjacency controls. But more still needs to be done. Broadening definitions to include misinformation, introducing adjacency standards and a proactive approach to monetizing the Metaverse are important next steps in ensuring that our brands can safely reach the diverse consumers we serve.”

It’s good to see that advertisers are getting together to tackle these issues (maybe trying to prevent governments from doing so) but hard to see how any guidelines can have the desired impact without buy-in from the US tech giants and their Chinese rivals.

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