NUS backs initiative to end advertising abuse

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

The National Union of Students (NUS) is the latest organisation to pledge its support to the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN), in an effort to end advertising abuse.

CAN is a voluntary coalition of over 30 organisations set up to ensure that industry ethics keeps pace with the technology of modern advertising. 

The NUS champion students to shape the future of education, with the aim of creating a fairer, more prosperous society. The union said it is dedicated to promoting, defending and extending student rights, fighting discrimination, isolation and injustice through campaigning and targeted action - both on and offline. 

 “We’re delighted to receive support from an organisation as prominent as the NUS,'' commented Jake Dubbins, Co-Founder at CAN. 

“The student demographic is huge, and many are affected by the issues surrounding online advertising that CAN aims to overcome.

The advertising industry, from brands and agencies to adtech, is perfectly placed to consciously change both their operations and the content they produce in pursuit of making communications that are better for all. 

Pressure on brands

It is CAN’s ambition to eradicate ad fraud, prevent brands from funding hate speech or deliberately misleading ‘fake news’ and to ensure that people are viewed as active, consensual participants in their own online experience.”

“We aim to create an environment in which students can thrive, and right now many are affected by online advertising abuse, whether it’s falling victim to ad fraud, fake news or being subject to hate speech,” said Ali Milani, Vice President (Union Development) at NUS. 

“Initiatives like CAN are crucial to calling out industry bad practice and ensuring we establish a code of ethics going forward, and we’re proud to show our support.

“We want the online advertising industry and the content it produces to be as diverse as our union of students, so that it is an inclusive environment for all. 

“It’s also important to us that students feel safe online and are able to make appropriate, informed choices. CAN share these values and have the collective expertise and industry clout to make a difference.”

The NUS join the likes of Accenture Interactive, The Body Shop and Vayner Media in partnering with CAN to lend their support to the initiative.

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