Ella Henderson

Ella Henderson

Disney UK has announced the launch of a major communications campaign in support of the tenth annual Safer Internet Day, as part of its on-going commitment to educating kids and families about staying safe online.

The stand-out talent from the recent series of The X Factor, Ella Henderson, and the casts of hit Disney Channel shows Good Luck Charlie and Jessie will remind kids through campaign spots on Disney Channel to ‘Connect with Respect’ online.

On Disney XD, animated favourites Phineas and Ferb will explain the rules of the road when it comes to online safety. The activity will be extended in selected Disney stores, where CEOP ambassadors will be on hand to talk parents through the key safety criteria for children’s websites and the various parental controls they can use, while their children learn what it means to be a good online friend.

Former X Factor contestant, Ella Henderson, said: “Having only recently left school myself, I know how important it is that kids get plenty of help and guidance as they grow up. Whether it’s on or offline, friendships can be tricky and sometimes it’s hard to know where to go for help.

“It’s great that Disney, Childnet and CEOP are working together to make sure kids know the help that’s out there and the basic rules of behaviour online.”

The announcement of the new campaign forms part of Disney’s pledge to donate £3 million of its media inventory in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to support the work of its European safety partners and complement the unrivalled investment in safety by Club Penguin, Disney’s virtual world for kids.

Lucy Woodward, Director of Live Services at Disney EMEA, said: “Safety has been a primary focus at Club Penguin since we launched the site more than seven years ago, and we continue to invest heavily in the people and technologies that ensure our site remains a safe and fun environment for our players. 

“It is to complement this ongoing investment that we pledged to donate £3 million of Disney media to work with online safety partners including Childnet and CEOP to help raise the bar in safety education.

“Our research shows that both parents and children are more receptive to messages from their favourite characters, actors and singers so we’ve drawn on some highprofile talent from home and abroad to star in our campaign. We hope to help ensure that parents and their kids understand how children can have safe, fun online experiences.”

So much is available to children at the touch of the button, bringing huge opportunities to their generation...

The campaign, created in partnership with Childnet and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), will run across Disney’s network of channels, websites and stores, and via PR activity in the run up to Safer Internet Day on 5th February.

The bespoke materials, themed ‘Connect with Respect’ in line with this year’s Safer Internet Day theme, feature some of Disney Channels best loved characters and talent to help engage kids around the issues.  

Players of Disney’s Club Penguin, the most popular virtual world for children globally, will be able to complete a short safety quiz and download a virtual item for their penguin to demonstrate their commitment to the safety cause, with content replicated in the Club Penguin magazine.

Will Gardner, Chief Executive Officer at Childnet and Director at the UK Safer Internet Centre, said: "So much is available to children at the touch of the button, bringing huge opportunities to their generation. From accessing information, to keeping in contact with family and making new friends, kids today have plenty of scope to express themselves creatively.

“But with this opportunity comes certain rights and responsibilities. Children need to know how to connect with respect and that being a good friend online is really no different to being a good friend in the real world.

“Childnet is delighted to partner with Disney in order to communicate this message to a bigger audience, and we’ve collaborated to create compelling, relevant content which ties in to Safer Internet Day.  We already work closely with the Club Penguin staff to train them in online safety procedures and they are important supporters of our education work. This latest collaboration represents a significant step forward in our partnership.”