In 2014, the significance of privacy protection was highlighted as a key issue in business operations. Alma Media also continued its work to develop responsible marketing and advertising, both in its own organisation and in the industry as a whole.
Code of Conduct as a guideline for operations
The ethical principles that govern Alma Media’s operations are described in the Code of Conduct, which contains the company’s key policies and principles for responsible management. Alma Media is a signatory of the UN Global Compact initiative, and its Code of Conduct is in line with the ten Global Compact principles. The Code of Conduct describes how responsibility is reflected in the day-to-day activity of everyone at Alma Media. Alma Media’s Annual Review 2014 also serves as the company’s Global Compact Communication on Progress report.
Privacy protection developed as part of responsible thinking
The importance of reliability will grow as commerce moves to the online realm and fraud becomes increasingly frequent. Reliability is a common feature for Alma Media's various digital online services. The significance of privacy protection has increased in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue in the future. Regulation of the media sector is also expected to increase due to the currently pending EU Regulation on privacy protection.
Alma Media Group is committed to protecting the privacy of the users of its services, and it strives to provide a safe and secure user experience to all visitors to its online services. The use of customer registers specific to particular newspapers and services is governed by, among other regulations, the Personal Data Act and the Data Protection Act. Transparency is a high priority in operations: the Group’s privacy protection process is described in detail on the Privacy Protection page. In 2013, Alma Media carried out a review of privacy protection, and in 2014 it developed certain key areas identified during the course of that review.
Demand for sustainably produced media space
Alma Media’s advertisers are increasingly interested in how Alma Media supports their sustainable development measures or messages through its own responsibility. Alma Media has taken an active approach to responsibility in advertising. In 2013, it collaborated with an international media company to study the environmental effects of the advertising value chain as a whole. Particular focus was placed on new ways of integrating corporate responsibility into media sales. In 2014, this theme was developed further in internal dialogue within Alma Media. The work continues in 2015 with the assessment of the environmental impacts of the advertisement value chain.
The goal was to not only provide new information on the ecological footprint of advertising, but also to evoke discussion on responsible business and advertising. In 2014, Alma Media arranged a seminar on the development of responsible marketing and business for its largest advertiser and media agency customers and evoked active discussion on the subject on various forums. The main theme in responsible advertising in 2013–2014 was goodvertising, which refers to advertising and business operations that contain messages on sustainable development. Goodvertising is aimed at promoting sustainable development via the brainprint of advertising.
Responsibility is an integral part of product and service development
Strengthening the Sustainable Media perspective is a key consideration in business development and the creation of new business. Journalism in itself already supports this objective, but there are also interesting perspectives in the context of the development of digital services. The Sustainable Media perspective is also part of the monitoring of the operating environment, which is a key aspect of research and development.
Alma Media’s digital online services in Finland and elsewhere in Europe have already integrated responsibility into their services. One example of this is the Monster.fi guide designed to support young people in seeking employment. LMC, a recruitment service provider under Alma Career Oy, has a dedicated recruitment service for people who are offering and searching for volunteer work opportunities. Monster was also active in promoting youth employment through the Vamos and Responsible Summer Job projects in 2014. In December 2014, Monster challenged employers and job seekers to join a campaign to promote employment of disabled young people. The campaign supported the VAMLAS Foundation, an organisation for children and youth with disabilities. The foundation will use the support to arrange events in which employers have the opportunity to meet disabled and partially fit-for-work young people looking for jobs.
Reliable and safe services are the cornerstone of our operations
At the moment, there are ongoing projects in the EU regarding a reform in information security and privacy protection regulations. The topic is current as, for instance, e-commerce is growing quickly and the number of online scam and abuse attempts is increasing steadily. Therefore, privacy protection and safe online services are becoming more and more important.
Alma Media, too, works continuously in order to ensure safe and reliable services for its users, customers and partners. Customer data is protected through various measures. The server rooms for all of Alma Media’s services and related connections and other systems have been protected against physical and digital attacks. Etuovi.com, Vuokraovi.com and Autotalli.com, for instance, had nearly 100% availability in 2014*. On the other hand, we take care of the information security of our services with continuous monitoring and by keeping information security and software updates up-to-date.
As a Group, Alma Media has also committed to protect the privacy of the users of its services. For instance, privacy protection legislation and Alma Media’s own information security policy, which was updated in 2014 to respond to the current operational methods and environment, guide the use of all of our newspaper and service-specific registers. Alma Media also aims to promote the development of the self-regulation of the industry itself. The Group participates as a publisher in the self-regulation programme of IAB Finland, an organisation promoting digital advertising. The programme develops the industry’s internal rules regarding the targeting of online advertising based on consumers’ browser behaviour.
Transparency is a high priority in Alma Media’s operations. The Group’s privacy protection process is described in detail on the Privacy Protection site.
*Service availability expresses the percentage of time a service is available to customers. Service availability is influenced by factors such as technical problems and system downtime due to maintenance operations.