Coca-Cola joins boycott of Facebook with pause on all social media advertising from July 1

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Coca-Cola is stopping all digital advertising on social media platforms around the world for at least 30 days from July 1, the soda giant said on Friday.

The move is part of a larger boycott of Facebook and Instagram organized by the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP and other organizations called the “Stop Hate For Profit” campaign. Coca-Cola goes further than some of these companies and bans all advertising worldwide on social media platforms, not just Facebook and Instagram. This would suggest that the boycott would hit Twitter, YouTube and other platforms as well.

“Effective July 1, The Coca-Cola Company will suspend paid advertising on all social media platforms worldwide for at least 30 days,” reads a statement by Coca-Cola Company CEO James Quincey, published in the brand website. “We will take this time to reassess our advertising standards and policies to determine if internal reviews are needed and what we should expect more from our social media partners to rid platforms of hatred, violence and inappropriate content.” We will let them know that we expect more accountability, action and transparency from them. “

Earlier today, Unilever joined Verizon as two of the largest boycott companies before Coca-Cola became involved. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced a series of policy changes which, while not explicitly in response to the boycott, seem designed to attempt to respond to many of the critics the company has faced recently regarding his lack of moderation from violent threats, hate speech and misinformation posted by President Donald Trump and other controversial accounts and pages.

“This continues a significant trend from big brands – including Unilever and Verizon – pledging to suspend Facebook ads for at least July,” reads a statement from Color of Change, a non-profit organization. progressive, one of the boycott organizers. “Since Color Of Change and its partners, including ADL and NAACP, launched the campaign on June 17, more than 100 brands have signed up.” Color of Change president Rashad Robinson said Friday that Hershey’s chocolate brand is also joining the boycott.

However, while the boycott can create a wave of bad press for Facebook and Instagram, it is unlikely that even the main advertisers who suspend advertising spending for a month will have a substantial effect on Facebook’s results, since the majority of revenues The company’s advertisers come from direct advertising. response announcements from small and medium businesses.

“We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and work continuously with external experts to review and update our policies,” a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News earlier today in response to Unilever’s announcement. “We know we have more work to do and we will continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM and other experts to develop even more tools, technologies and policies to continue this fight. “

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Coca-Cola’s decision.

The Stop Hate For Profit campaign was launched last week, starting with popular outdoor sports and lifestyle brands like The North Face and Patagonia. It has since gained ground with major American companies after gaining support from the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand and film distributor Magnolia Pictures. In an open letter published yesterday, the ADL provides more concrete details about the changes the boycott seeks to make in Facebook’s policies and its approach to moderation.

“Today, we ask all businesses to show solidarity with our most deeply held American values ​​of freedom, equality and justice and not to advertise on Facebook services in July,” reads in an announcement of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign published in the Los Angeles Times earlier this week. “Let’s send a powerful message to Facebook: your profits are never worth promoting hatred, fanaticism, racism, anti-Semitism and violence. “

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