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Children of the Street Society begins New Follower campaign

Vancouver-based charitable organization Children of the Street Society has begun a campaign in British Columbia intended to raise awareness of online sexual predators. The campaign, called "New Follower," was developed by Cossette Vancouver. It includes a television commercial, direct mail, out-of-home advertising and social media activities. The executions focus on raising awareness of mobile applications as a way for predators to connect with young people.

The 30-second television commercial seeks to demonstrate how a predator could locate a child using geotagged images from Instagram. Two transit shelter ads feature a local Instagram map marked with photographs of teens to indicate the places where they can most commonly be found. These are accompanied by the copy, "Who's following your kids?" The direct mail piece will be hand-delivered to the residences of media personalities who were located by Cossette via their Instagram photographs.

An Instagram-based component of the campaign makes use of images of young teenagers along with hashtags a predator might use as search terms. Consumers who follow the links to the attached profiles will see the copy, "If you're searching for underage teens, then we're searching for you. Undercover officers are online."

"Kids, and often their parents, don't realize that sharing personal photos on services like Instagram can reveal detailed location information, providing predators with a glimpse into their lives, a digital breadcrumb trail," said Michael Milardo, executive creative director at Cossette Vancouver.

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