AdWeek All Star

In 2021, Joshua Lowcock, along with his colleague Elijah Harris was recognized in the AdWeek All Star.

Amid the national protests following the police killing of George Floyd, Reprise’s Harris and UM’s Lowcock started discussing how to address social media platforms’ role in spreading hate and misinformation. For Harris, as a Black American leading social operations for a major holding company agency buying media on channels he felt weren’t doing enough, the crisis was deeply personal. “I had this feeling that I couldn’t persist in my professional role without addressing the task at hand, the reticence for social platforms to self-regulate to match reforms occurring in the general market,” he says. As major marketers trumpeted Facebook boycotts only to silently return to the social network months later, Harris and Lowcock decided to pursue a broader approach for IPG Mediabrands. “All the platforms are flawed. I’ve seen [brand safety] issues everywhere,” Lowcock says. “It would have been easy for the Facebook boycott to lead to rolling boycotts from one platform to the next. What we wanted to do was re-shift the conversation.” To that end, the duo led the creation of IPG Mediabrands’ Media Responsibility Index, a tool to asses the impact of harmful content on social channels and establish a benchmark for platform responsibility, which saw an 11% lift in performance against the agency’s Media Responsibility Principles across nine participating platforms.

—Erik Oster

Read the original Ad Week 50 article on Joshua Lowcock here.

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