NEW YORK, May 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to educate teens about how to be smart about what they post and share online, WhatsWhat.me -- the safe, secure "kids-only" social network -- has joined the Ad Council's new collaborative initiative, the Internet Safety Coalition, to provide research-based messages to teens and their parents.
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The collaboration will utilize the collective strengths of corporate marketers, the media, non-profit organizations and foundations to promote safe online and digital practices. Coalition members also include AOL, AT&T, Comcast, Google, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, IBM, Microsoft, MTV Networks, MySpace, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, The New York Times Company, Time Warner, Inc., Verizon Wireless, The Wireless Foundation and Yahoo! Inc., as well as other leading cybersafety organizations.
Says WhatsWhat.me Founder and CEO, Vincent Cannistraro, "We are thrilled to partner in the Ad Council's Internet Safety Coalition teaching teens about conscious online behavior. As the 'kids-only' social network for 7-13-year-olds – WhatsWhat.me is a natural fit as we created our social network specifically to protect and teach kids positive online behavior in a safe, secure, 'no bullying allowed' environment. We believe this coalition is exactly what's needed to create widespread awareness of the importance of youth cyber-safe behavior."
Based on quantitative research and feedback from teens, the Ad Council, WhatsWhat.me, and the Internet Safety Coalition members worked with Merkley + Partners to develop a program entitled "Beware What You Share," which communicates to teens that posting information online isn't private, and if they wouldn't broadcast it in real life, then it's not smart to share it online or digitally, where it can be passed on, and will remain forever.
Creative materials, developed by GrapeVine Productions, have been tested with teens and feature the tagline, "If you wouldn't wear it, don't share it." Materials include online videos, Web banners, logo visuals, brochure templates and social media messaging.
"We know that targeted and consistent communications programs have the power to change attitudes and behaviors regarding a multitude of social issues," said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of The Advertising Council. "By providing a range of organizations with research-based messages, this effort will encourage teens to be smart about what they post, which will ultimately help keep our children safer."
Members will incorporate these messages into their marketing and communications efforts, such as online content and campaigns, advertising, social media channels, consumer promotions, grassroots programs, collateral materials and at conferences.
The Internet Safety Coalition is funded by AT&T, Google, Interactive Advertising Bureau, Microsoft, and the Wireless Foundation. The Coalition's effectiveness will be measured by a tracking study and online audit conducted by the Ad Council. For more information about the coalition, visit www.internetsafetypartners.org.
About WhatsWhat.me (Beta) and its Parent Resource Center:
WhatsWhat.me (Beta) is the safe, secure "kids-only" social network for kids ages 7 to 13 ("tweens") utilizing biometric facial recognition technology, human moderation, grade-based separation and kid-friendly features in a "no-bullying allowed" community. Compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), WhatsWhat.me (Beta) fosters an age-appropriate, empowering environment that teaches positive online behavior, Internet safety and related life skills. At its free Parent Resource Center prc.whatswhat.me parents obtain expert advice, podcasts and information on cybersafety for children. More information: www.whatswhat.me. Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @WhatsWhat_me. Media Contact: Jeanie Ryan at email@example.com or 603-235-5266. Customer service: 1-888-520-3211.
The Advertising Council
The Ad Council is a non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.