The formerly British-owned chocolate maker Cadbury has launched the second phase of a campaign that encourages people to take action when they witness cyber-bullying.
The #HeartTheHate campaign asks internet users to mark social media posts that have attracted online abuse with a purple heart emoji.
Cadbury, which was bought by American multinational company Mondelēz International in 2003, initially cooked up the campaign in 2019 to show solidarity with abuse victims.
The campaign was launched after a poll of 89,685 internet users conducted by Cadbury in partnership with Indian media company Inshorts found that 57.6% of respondents has been cyber-bullied, and 46.5% of victims had been harassed online more than once.
Anil Viswanathan, senior director of marketing at Mondelez India, said: “Cyber-bullying is something which affects everyone, especially today’s youngsters.
“Apart from the direct impact of bullying, the apathy of the silent bystander impacts the victims in a big way. While we were pleased to see the impact created online through #HeartTheHate, which leveraged this insight in 2019, we knew there was a lot of work still left to do.”
Phase two of the ad campaign follows a more recent poll by Inshorts and Cadbury that surveyed 170,000 people. Researchers found that 42% of respondents reported being cyber-bullied, and 55% said that they had not been given any assistance from friends after falling victim to online abuse.
“Through the next phase of the campaign, we hope to further reiterate Purple Heart as an emoticon that helps express solidarity with the bullied,” said Viswanathan.
“This campaign leverages technology in a smart way to make consumers understand how breaking their silence and standing up for the victims can make a huge difference in their lives.”
In the campaign, Indian abuse victims are shown in different scenarios being comforted by seeing the purple hearts left by supporters or getting bullied more when bystanders ignore the first round of abuse.
India represents the third biggest market for Cadbury chocolate products after the UK and Australia. Cadbury Dairy Milk has also teamed up with cyber-psychologist Nirali Bhatiato to run training courses at 20 universities around the country about the impact of cyber-bullying.