Zuckerberg loses $7.2bn as Coca Cola and Starbucks join ad boycott

Jun 29, 2020 | Content marketing, CPG, Facebook marketing, FMCG digital marketing, FMCG digital marketing food and beverages, Online advertising, Social, Unilever

Zuckerberg loses $7.2bn as Coca Cola and Starbucks joins ad boycott
Mark Zuckerberg has lost $7.2bn in share value after several companies pulled their advertising from Facebook, citing the company’s failure to police hate speech and disinformation on its site.

In response, the social media giant announced it would begin to label potentially harmful or misleading posts which have been left up for their news value. However, some brands say this move does not go far enough.

The company’s shares fell 8.3% Friday, the most in three months after Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers said it would stop selling its products on Facebook, Bloomberg reported.

The company joined other large firms such as Verizon Communications, Hershey Co. and Honda in pulling their ads from the social media giant.

Coca Cola said it would suspend its advertising on all social media platforms for at least a month.Coffee chain Starbucks also announced it will suspend advertising on some social media platforms in response to hate speech.

The share-price drop eliminated $56 billion from Facebook’s market value and pushed Zuckerberg’s own net worth down to $82.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The move left Facebook’s chief executive in fourth place on the list, overtaken by LVMH Moet Hennessy boss Bernard Arnault, who is now in third place behind billionaires Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

New labelling system

In a response to the ad boycott, Zuckerberg said the company would label all voting-related posts with a link encouraging users to look at its new voter information hub.

The company also announced that it would prohibit “claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others.”

The organisers of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which accuses Facebook of not doing enough to stop hate speech and disinformation, said the “small number of small changes” would not “make a dent in the problem”.

More than 90 companies have paused advertising in support of #StopHateforProfit.

Clothes maker Levi Strauss & Co also said it would be pausing advertising on Facebook following Mr Zuckerberg’s announcement.

The #StopHateforProfit coalition – which includes the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – said none of the changes would be vetted or verified.

“We have been down this road before with Facebook. They have made apologies in the past. They have taken meagre steps after each catastrophe where their platform played a part. But this has to end now,” it added.

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