Skip to main content

Media Responsibility Principles


Social responsibility principles

1. Shared definition of “harmful content”

1. Do our Brand Values align with the values of the third party?

2. Is the definition of “harmful content” objective enough to be clearly articulated, understood, and enforced?

2. Clear policy and meaningful implementation

1. Does the third party have a content policy that is clear, explicit, and address all necessary imperatives?

2. Are they taking meaningful steps actively enforce that policy?

3. Controls for marketers

1. Does the third party provide tools or options for advertisers to deliver messaging within protected sections of the platform?

2. Does the third party allow for auditing and provide timely and frequent reporting?


Definition of harmful content


In order to provide for consistency and standardization across the advertising industry, CVS Health will adopt the Global Alliance for Responsible Media’s (GARM) definitions of ‘Harmful Content’ as the Brand Safety ‘Floor’ for all paid advertising executed by CVS Health.

  • Adult and explicit sexual content: Illegal sale, distribution, and consumption of child pornography. Explicit or gratuitous depiction of sexual acts, and/or display of genitals, real or animated.

  • Arms and ammunition: Promotion and advocacy of sales of illegal arms, rifles, and handguns. Instructive content on how to obtain, distribute, or use illegal arms. Glamorization of illegal arms for the purpose of harm to others. Use of illegal arms in unregulated environments.

  • Crime and harmful acts to individuals and society; human rights violations: Graphic promotion, advocacy, and depiction of willful harm and actual unlawful activity. Explicit violations/demeaning offenses of Human Rights (e.g. human trafficking, slavery, self-harm, animal cruelty, etc.). Harassment or bullying of individuals or groups.

  • Death, injury, or military conflict: Promotion, incitement, or advocacy of violence, death, or injury. Murder or willful bodily harm to others. Graphic depictions of willful harm to others. Incendiary content provoking, enticing, or evoking military aggression. Live action footage/photos of military actions and genocide or other war crimes.

  • Online piracy: Pirating, copyright infringement, and counterfeiting.

  • Hate speech and acts of aggression: Behavior or content that incites hatred, promotes violence, vilifies, or dehumanizes groups or individuals based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, nationality, religion, caste, victims and survivors of violent acts and their kin, immigration status, or serious disease sufferers.

  • Obscenity and profanity, including language, gestures, and explicitly gory, graphic or repulsive content intended to shock and disgust: Excessive use of profane language or gestures and other repulsive actions that shock, offend, or insult.

  • Illegal drugs, tobacco, e-cigarettes, vaping, alcohol: Promotion or sale of illegal drug use, including abuse of prescription drugs. Federal jurisdiction applies, but allowable where legal local jurisdiction can be effectively managed. Promotion and advocacy of tobacco and e-cigarettes, vaping, and alcohol use in minors.

  • Spam or harmful content: Malware/Phishing.

  • Terrorism: Promotion or advocacy of graphic terrorist activity involving defamation, physical and/or emotional harm of individuals, communities, and society.

  • Debated sensitive social issues: Insensitive, irresponsible, and harmful treatment of debated social issues and related acts that demean a particular group or incite greater conflict.

Read our Responsible Marketing Practices policy

September 1, 2020