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Mon, 26 February 2024

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Media Smart publishes impact report to mark Safer Internet Day

Advertising Association

3 min read Partner content

UK advertising’s award-winning non-profit education programme, Media Smart, has launched its 2023 Impact Report highlighting the resources it has provided young people, parents and teachers last year, alongside its ambitious plans for 2024.

The report comes as Media Smart’s Executive Director, Rachel Barber-Mack, featured on a special podcast to mark Safer Internet Day, from the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) and The Digital Entertainment Group International (DEGI).

Useful tools for Safer Internet Day covered by Media Smart include a wide range of films and resources to educate young people about advertising literacy, with subjects such as influencer marketing, body image, piracy & IP, creative careers, as well as navigating TikTok and Instagram.

Media Smart’s latest report highlights the importance of investing in media literacy for young people in a rapidly-evolving world, compounded by the emergence of new technologies such as AI. In 2023, Media Smart resources reached 845,000 young people and saw 6,000 educational resources downloaded, backed by 36 supporters across 10 industry sectors.

Last year saw the programme launch a campaign to help young people understand environmental claims in advertising, including a simple five-point guide and short film, which has reached and engaged 14,000 young people so far. It also evolved its mission to inspire young people into the working world of advertising through the launch of a new careers hub on its website.

This year, Media Smart aims to launch further resources including a scam-awareness campaign in partnership with the UK Government’s Home Office, and a careers campaign in partnership with OMG UK, to raise further awareness of advertising and the media as a realistic career choice for all young people.

Rachel Barber-Mack, Executive Director, Media Smart, said: “We all have our responsibilities in supporting young people to navigate the online world. I believe that Media Smart has never been more relevant, and that there has never been a more pressing time to invest in media literacy for young people. Media Smart has made enormous strides – with measurable impact – in this area, but I also believe we are just scratching the surface. Media Smart traditionally created education resources to reach out to schools and teachers for use in the classroom. It’s increasingly important we reach young people directly in the places they are hanging out online to educate them through social media awareness campaigns too.”

Dan Clays, CEO of OMG EMEA and Media Smart Chair, said: “Ensuring that young people are equipped with the knowledge and tools for how to navigate the media and technology landscape safely and to its full potential is so essential for our industry and only continues to escalate in importance. Extending our focus this year to also educating young people around career opportunities in the media and advertising industry has also been an exciting step forward for Media Smart.”

The BASE podcast features a discussion between five experts tasked with driving positive change around child internet use that will speak to parents and the broader community about the issues around staying safe online. Alongside Rachel Barber-Mack, guests include Lord Ed Vaizey, Chair, Common Sense Media UK; Alison Perry, Netmums; Christian Mba (MisterMba), teacher and Digital Content Creator; and Will Gardner OBE, CEO, Childnet International. Reflecting the broad range of films and resources that Media Smart provides, the podcast contains tips around online safety, the rules around influencer advertising (including the role of the Advertising Standards Authority), scams and piracy. The episode in full can be listened to via ‘The BASE roundtables’ or via audio streaming platforms from February 6.

If you are interested in joining Media Smart as an industry partner, please get in touch with Rachel Barber-Mack, Director of Media Smart, at mediasmart@adassoc.org.uk.

Further information about Media Smart can be found here, along with its Impact Report.

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