Coca-Cola Suspends Advertising on All Social Media Platforms Worldwide

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Coca-Cola announced Friday that it will suspend paid advertising on all social media platforms worldwide for at least 30 days.The company said it was not joining the official boycott, but said “we are suspending” the ad.

In the past week since a group of organizations called on Facebook advertisers to stop spending on advertising in July, more than 90 marketers, including Verizon, Patagonia, REI, Lending Club and The North Face, have announced plans to join, according to a running list of Sleeping Giants. The group of organizations includes the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” said James Quincey, CEO and president of Coca-Cola, in a statement. “Coca-Cola will suspend paid advertising on all social media platforms worldwide for at least 30 days. We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine if revisions are necessary. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media. the partners. ”

The beverage giant has posted quotes on diversity and the end of systemic racism on its Twitter account, including support for the only black NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace.

Coca-Cola’s announcement comes after Unilever, whose brands include Dove, Ben & Jerry’s and Hellmann’s, said on Friday that it would stop advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the United States until at least 31 December.Unilever has joined brands like Eddie Bauer, The North Face and Patagonia as part of a campaign forcing the social media network to more tightly control hate speech and misinformation by taking a number of actions, including creating a “separate moderation pipeline” for users who say they’ve been targeted because of their race or religion, or to allow advertisers to see how often their ads have appeared near content that has subsequently been deleted for bad information or hatred, and allow them to reimburse these advertisements.

Following Coca-Cola’s announcement, Levi’s and Dockers said they would suspend all Facebook and Instagram advertising by “at least” in July: “Facebook must take steps to end disinformation and hate speech on its platforms. It is an unacceptable affront to our values. . We and Dockers join the #stophateforprofit campaign and suspend all Facebook ads. ”

Hershey also announced on Friday evening that he would cut spending on Facebook and Instagram by a third for the rest of the year and join the boycott #stophateforprofit.

“We don’t think Facebook effectively handles violent and conflicting speech on their platform. Despite Facebook’s repeated claims to act, we have not seen any significant change, “the company said in a statement. “Earlier this month, we informed Facebook that we were not satisfied with their position on hate speech. We have now cut our spending on Facebook and their platforms, including Instagram, by a third for the rest of the year. We hope Facebook will take action and make it a safe space for our consumers to communicate and come together. As a company, we stand for values ​​of friendliness and inclusion and are committed to our commitment to make a difference and be part of positive change. ”

Another big spender on Facebook, Procter & Gamble, said earlier this week that it is examining all of the media channels, networks, platforms and programs it advertises “to make sure that content and everyone’s comments are accurate and respectful, and that we do not advertise or quasi-content that we deem hateful, discriminatory, disparaging or derogatory. ”

“As part of this, we are working with media companies and platforms to take appropriate systemic action if necessary,” said Marc Pritchard, Brand Director of P&G. The company, asked for comment, declined to comment specifically on Facebook.

In a Facebook livestream, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he intends to discuss “new policies to connect people with authoritative voting information, suppress voter suppression and fight speech of hatred ”. He did not directly address the advertiser’s boycott.

In a recent note to advertisers obtained by CNBC, Facebook vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson said that “boycotting in general is not the way for us to move forward together.”

“I also hope you now know that we are not making political changes related to the pressure on incomes,” she said in the note. “We set our policies based on principles rather than commercial interests. “

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