In recent years, “media responsibility” has emerged as a critical focus for food businesses and brands in Canada. This concept intertwines with essential topics such as safety and expression, diversity, equity and inclusion, privacy, transparency, sustainability, and responsible business practices. The food marketing industry is working diligently to standardize and enhance approaches and expectations related to media responsibility.
But how did we, as food marketers, arrive at this comprehensive view of societal impact? What exactly does media responsibility mean in the context of the Canadian food marketing industry?
The Evolution of Media Responsibility
Not long ago, discussions about safety and integrity in the industry primarily centered on issues like fraudulent ads on platforms and the accuracy of viewability metrics. As technology and policies evolved, our focus shifted towards content policies and enforcement, which are crucial for creating secure environments for both consumers and food brands. While these topics remain vital, the food marketing industry now looks beyond them to meet the evolving needs of the world.
Defining Media Responsibility
Media responsibility is a topic of conversation and collaboration across the food marketing industry. Yet, there is no universal industry-standard definition for this concept. At Branding & Buzzing, we define media responsibility as a commitment:
“The commitment of the entire food marketing industry in Canada to contribute to a better world through a more accountable, equitable, and sustainable advertising ecosystem.”
This definition emphasizes the collaborative spirit necessary for advancing media responsibility and encompasses the ambitious work already initiated by the industry.
The Four Pillars of Media Responsibility in the Canadian Food Marketing Industry
Media responsibility, in the context of the Canadian food marketing industry, encompasses four key pillars:
1. Safety and Expression: This pillar revolves around ensuring that everyone has a voice on our platforms while protecting them from harm, whether they are individuals or food brands.
2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Creating environments where opportunities exist for all, ensuring that everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.If you’re interested in increasing your involvement, there’s a Canadian organization called Quell that specifically centers its efforts on the themes of food and diversity.
3. Privacy and Transparency: Building products with privacy at their core, investing in responsible data practices, and providing advertisers with transparent, independent methods to measure paid media.
4. Sustainability: Focusing on protecting our planet and making a positive impact on the environment.
Accountability, Collaboration, and Action
Across these four pillars, the Canadian food marketing industry recognizes its role as a leader in staying accountable, collaborating with partners, and taking action. To underscore this commitment, Branding & Buzzing is launching a dedicated space on our Meta for Business site, focused on media responsibility. This space will enable our partners and the wider industry to hold us accountable, stay updated on our collaborations, and learn about the actions we are taking. We will also use this platform to share progress, insights, and tools with the broader industry because achieving the substantial goals we have for media responsibility requires collective effort.
Regardless of our organization’s size or history, we acknowledge that the partnerships we form are essential. We are excited about the improvements we are making together to create a more responsible Canadian food marketing industry and remain dedicated to sustaining the positive work already in progress.