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Our Campaign to Save the Internet

Foursquare partners with Shutterstock, Tinder, Vimeo, and Warby Parker on a Net Neutrality ad campaign that launches today By Jeff Glueck & Dennis Crowley

Written by Jeff Glueck on May 09, 2018 - Read time: 5 min - Read Later

You arrived at this post because the Internet, as we know it, allows you to access everything you want, and quickly. There's no fast lane or slow lane; every service and platform is treated equally. It's a thing of beauty, really, when you think about how it's all fair and level, and insights and information are always within easy grasp.

That's not all. Because of a fast and free internet, start-ups and small businesses compete against giants. They have the chance, like Foursquare did and like many others too, to rise up from obscurity. Young companies and brands have a fighting chance to grow into themselves, and to attract traffic and eyeballs and attention. Today, these companies create jobs and drive the economy forward.

But all that could change — and soon.

Net neutrality as we know it is threatened. It's not a technology problem, nor is it a sustainability problem. It's not because there's a lack of content or creative minds.

It's a political problem.

And we're in a critical moment. Next week, the Senate votes to overturn the repeal of net neutrality.

This is how Foursquare is doing its part.

Foursquare partnered with other tech leaders Shutterstock, Tinder, Vimeo and Warby Parker on an advertising campaign designed to reach people who can make a difference: constituents in five states where experts believe that at least one senator might be willing to side with us, in favor of a democratic internet. If we can swing just one of these senators to vote against the repeal, we'll force the bill into the House of Representatives, and they can vote next.

Thanks to Foursquare's industry-leading advertising platform, Pinpoint, we are able to smartly target the right people in these five states (Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, and Nevada).

The technique relies on Foursquare's precise understanding of where people go in the real world, as a proxy for how they feel about a free and open internet.** We're reaching people that visit government buildings and those who go to tech and media companies and universities. By the end of the campaign, which runs through the vote next week, we'll reach millions of individuals directly.

ad seen by Florida voters served via Pinpoint by Foursquare

The ad that will be seen by Florida voters, served via Pinpoint by Foursquare, our programmatic advertising platform that reaches consumers based on where they go in the real world.

We all have to work together. We have to call and text our senators and tell them that we care, and that they should vote for the Congressional Review Act (CRA). Our ads, launching today, on the Red Alert Day of Action for Net Neutrality, make that easy. Our unique, state-by-state design incorporates call and text capabilities. So: Lisa Murkowski (Alaska); Cory Gardner (Colorado); Marco Rubio (Florida); Dean Heller (Nevada); and John Kennedy (Louisiana), we're talking to you.

The creative, designed by Foursquare's newly minted in-house creative agency, Sixteen, reference the ubiquitous status bar, the one that loads quickly at first then slows down to a crawl when you're so close. Our ads use this visual mnemonic to remind people of the value of net neutrality, and the one person who can defend it: your senator. And today, in honor of the Red Alert Day of Action, we're going red on, and sharing national ads on our website and in Swarm app, too.

Red Alert Day of Action on May 9, 2018 ad

Foursquare, Shutterstock, Tinder, Vimeo and Warby Parker will all support the Red Alert Day of Action on May 9, 2018 with this creative running across our sites, social and apps.

In addition to donating our services and serving the ads at cost, we also contributed to the campaign just like our partners Shutterstock, Tinder, Vimeo and Warby Parker. A big thank you to these companies, who joined us in our efforts. We all believe that this isn't a partisan topic, it is a business issue — and one we care about deeply.

“Shutterstock is committed to net neutrality because a fair and open internet is essential to driving progress, collaboration and creativity. A level playing field makes it possible for anyone with an idea to bring it to the world. Net neutrality is essential to empower anyone, regardless of economic status, with access to information and resources to contribute to the digital economy. Progress often comes through disruption and collaboration and a free and open internet facilitates both. Shutterstock was built on an open internet and now empowers hundreds of thousands of creators and customers to bring their ideas to life. Now we're proud to join a campaign that calls on everyone to fight for a free and open internet." — Heidi Garfield, General Counsel of Shutterstock
“We support net neutrality and the spirit of innovation it fosters, by creating an equal playing field for companies of all sizes to thrive. Protecting an open Internet is essential for anyone who wants to retain the freedom to choose what they do and see online. We ask everyone who wants to protect their online freedoms to reach out to their legislators and join us in the fight to save net neutrality." — Elie Siedman, CEO of Tinder
“Vimeo is proud to stand alongside our tech friends to restore net neutrality. Our combined voices, alongside those of our creators and the larger Internet community, advocate for strong rules to protect equal access, creativity, innovation and free speech now and always." — Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo
“We founded Warby Parker to transform the eyewear industry by selling glasses online at an affordable price. Our business was built on having access to an open internet, and we strongly believe it's important that both consumers and entrepreneurs continue to operate on an even playing field. " — Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker
“Repealing net neutrality benefits big corporations at the expense of small businesses, startups and consumers. Interfering with a fair and open internet will impede innovation, reduce job growth and ultimately make America less prosperous." — Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker

Turning this vote will be a huge win, helping to put the power back in the hands of the people, to give small businesses and start-ups a chance, and to give us all the ability to decide the future of the Internet.

Want to get involved? Go to for an easy way to get in touch with your local lawmaker.

**A note about privacy, because it's important and topical. Foursquare builds products that are rooted in geo- and contextually aware experiences for users. For this reason, location data is shared with us willingly, because we offer a specific value to our users who trust us. We make every decision cautiously, and closely review all campaigns, creative, and actions of our advertisers and partners to ensure all audiences are respected and protected. All data is always anonymized, pseudonymized and/or aggregated.


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