Ad Council leads effort with Adobe, Apple, and Facebook to stop bullying with new eye emoji

The Ad Council has spearheaded an anti-bullying initiative with a number of partners including Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and Twitter to help witnesses of bullying speak up and help victims.

Called ‘I Am A Witness’ and created in partnership with ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), the focus of the campaign is an eyeball emoji that is now available with Apple’s new iOS update. Anyone who sees somebody being bullied can send the victim an eye emoji as a symbol of support and kindness.

A number of YouTube stars, including Grace Helbig, Meghan Rienks, and Ricky Dillon, are also starring in an online video (above) and TV PSA that will run nationwide starting today. The social influencers are generating awareness for the emoji through a series of other videos and activations on their own platforms.

According to the Ad Council, 90 per cent of teenagers ages 12-17 who have witnessed online cruelty say they have ignored mean behavior on social media. Yet the Ad Council says research shows that bystanders can play a crucial role when it comes to stopping bullying.

Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, said: “All teens are impacted by bullying and they often feel helpless when they witness it. Emojis have become a second language for teens, and they provide a relevant and easy way to get involved. 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.”

GS&P also developed an animated, interactive video in partnership with Moonbot Studios to further promote the campaign.

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