THE UTIQ MANIFESTO: PRINCIPLE #4

Enabling a trusted and responsible digital world for everyone

 

Creating a new reality means collaboration between people, publishers, brands, and regulators. It’s developing new technologies and business models that prioritise user privacy and data protection. It’s about educating users on their rights and responsibilities, empowering them to take back control over their privacy choices.

 

Our beliefs are clear. They guide our behaviours, business decisions, service development, and the actions of our people, and we hope they can act as agents of change across the industry.

 

You can watch our manifesto film here

 

This is the fourth in a series of posts that delve a little deeper on the principles that underpin Utiq’s purpose.

 

Principle #4: Our Digital World Should Be More Inclusive

 

An open internet promotes diversity and equity – the building blocks of a fair and inclusive society – where everyone has the opportunity to participate, grow and realise their potential.

 

But how can we ensure that the internet is truly open and accessible to all? How can we leverage the power of digital advertising to create a more diverse and equitable online environment?

 

Digital advertising is not only a way to promote products and services, but it’s also a way to communicate values and intended behaviours. It can influence how people perceive themselves and others, how they interact with different cultures and communities, and how they engage with social issues and causes.

 

Digital advertising can also be a tool for empowerment and representation. It can amplify the voices of marginalised and underrepresented groups, showcase their stories and achievements, and celebrate their identities and contributions. It can also challenge stereotypes and biases, foster empathy and understanding, and inspire positive change.

 

But to achieve these goals, digital advertising needs to be more inclusive itself. It needs to reflect the diversity of the audiences it reaches, respect their preferences and needs, and protect their privacy and rights. It also needs to be more transparent and accountable, ensuring that the ads are relevant, accurate, and ethical.

 

Unfortunately, not all digital advertising platforms share these values. Some of them operate as “walled gardens”, which are closed ecosystems that limit the access and control of advertisers, publishers, and users over their own data and content. These platforms have often been criticized for being unfair, opaque, and harmful to the open internet, using their dominant market position to impose their own rules and standards – their own reflection on society – which may not align with the best interests of the online community.

 

Critically, they also appear unable to prevent or curtail the rise of misinformation about news and social issues, and – ironically – prevent access to or bias against the very high-quality journalism needed to ensure accurate, independent reporting.

 

We believe that digital advertising can be a force for good in our digital world in addressing these challenges, doing so in a way that respects the principles of openness, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We urge the wider industry to support the efforts of regulators, industry associations, social groups and independent platforms to create a more level playing field for digital access and inclusive representation.