Ask.fm has been the focus of recent discussion around the world, following the death of British schoolgirl, Hannah Smith. This was reported last week in the NZ Herald. Ask.fm is based in Latvia and provides yet another format for online discussion, one with seemingly fewer restraints and less personal accountability than Facebook. It has also been implicated in the death of Palmerston North schoolgirl, Stephanie Garrett in February this year.
There have been calls for companies to stop their advertising on this site, and cutting off revenue can be a highly effective means of protest. We agree entirely.
Due to the complex nature of online advertising, particularly with the prevalence of ad networks, it can be very hard for a business to know where their ads are displayed. We are therefore recommending to our clients that we exclude ask.fm from their ad placements.
It is no surprise to us that everyone we have made this recommendation to has quickly agreed – even a client who was getting great results from their placements on ask.fm for a particular campaign. There are literally millions of sites in the Google Display Network, so making a stand against one site does not need to impact your ability to promote your business.
We work with a number of clients in the education and not-for-profit sector and they are particularly sensitive to issues like bullying. The ongoing stance of another client, Powershop, has impressed us with their support for Pink Shirt Day earlier this year http://blog.powershop.co.nz/fight-the-bad-guys/.
Every journey starts with a small step.