Online pal or predator?

Little Billy may not be the innocent 12-year-old online chat buddy your child thinks he is.

Little Billy may not be the innocent 12-year-old online chat buddy your child thinks he is.

A new PSA print campaign for Be Web Aware, a joint initiative by Microsoft Canada, Bell Canada and the non-profit media literacy org Media Awareness Network, encourages parents to play an active role in monitoring their child’s online activities. The effort is a response to recent Media Awareness Network research that revealed one in five teens have met an online ‘friend’

in person.

Three print executions feature sinister-looking online predators encased in child-friendly action figure packaging. ‘[Internet predators] are packaging themselves as something they’re not. We brought that to life in a very literal way,’ says Chris Harrison, VP/group CD at MacLaren McCann’s Toronto office. He says the objective isn’t to have parents ban kids from using the Internet, but simply to be more aware of what they’re up to: ‘We don’t want this to be

a scare campaign.’

The ads launched last month in mags like Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Reader’s Digest.

client: Gavin Thompson, director for community affairs, Kevin Flynn, VP brand director, Microsoft Canada

group CD/copywriter: Paul Ruta

VP/group CD/AD: Chris Harrison

account executive: Jodi Charto Smith

account supervisor: Tony Soares