Advertisers respond to Instagram suicide link revelations.

Advertisers and brands have been singled out by a BBC News investigation, which discovered they had been appearing alongside Instagram posts promoting suicide and self-harm.


In a statement the ISBA deplored such associations and demanded that an independent, business funded body be established to certify content appropriate for advertising.


It said: “As responsible advertisers, our members would never prefer to be related to such material and having spoken to the brands highlighted in the BBC piece, they’re keen to understand how this has happened and what they can do to prevent it.


“Today, advertising in the news feed is targeted to the individual and there’s no management over what else appears with it. Advertisers are thus reliant on the strength of Facebook’s and Instagram’s content moderation policies and the effectiveness of their implementation. The self-moderation of content by individual corporations continues to be a serious part of the problem.


“This is why for some time we’ve been calling for correct oversight – an independent, business funded body that sets ethical principles, certifies content policies and processes, audits transparency reporting and provides an appeals process.”


Instagram parent Facebook has already apologized for hosting the graphic content designed to encourage self-harm and suicide, avowing that such content “has no place on our platform”.
This follows the death of 14-year old molly Russell whose death in 2017 has been partially attributed to malign Instagram accounts hosting disturbing photos and videos, some of which appeared alongside adverts for the likes of Marks & Spencer, The Post office and the British Heart Foundation.