Major brands and agencies join Facebook ad boycott

Jun 26, 2020 | Content marketing, Facebook marketing, Online advertising, Regulation, Social

Major brands and agencies join Facebook ad boycott
A large number of big brands, including Verizon, Ben & Jerry's and The North Face, have joined a boycott of Facebook advertising, following the social network’s failure to prevent racist and violent information from being shared on its social networking service.

The growing movement, organised by civil rights and other advocacy groups under the rally cry “#StopHateForProfit”, was spurred by last month’s killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and has drawn support from companies including Mozilla, movie studio Magnolia Pictures, Rakuten Viber, and the Goodby Silverstein advertising agency.

“We have strict content policies in place and have zero tolerance when they are breached, we take action,” Verizon said in a statement.
“We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable.”

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has been slammed for choosing not to remove a post from Trump which threatened Black Lives Matter protesters that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — a phrase with ties to a pro-segregation presidential candidate.

The groups behind the boycott, which include the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People and the Anti-Defamation League, last week launched the “#StopHateforProfit” campaign with a newspaper ad.

They say Facebook amplifies white supremacists, allows posts that incite violence and contain political propaganda and misinformation, and doesn’t stop “bad actors using the platform to do harm”.

The advertising boycott extends to other Facebook-owned platforms such as Instagram.

Verizon noted it had previously stopped advertising on other popular online destinations, such as YouTube, when it felt its promotions might appear alongside content inconsistent with its values.

Facebook global business vice-president Carolyn Everson said the social media giant respected Verizon’s decision and remained committed to purging hateful content from its services.

“Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organisations are about how, together, we can be a force for good,” she said.
The boycott could theoretically pinch Facebook’s profits as the company makes most of its money from ads targeted at the interests of its more than 2 billion users.

Key messages from brands are listed below: