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Facebook Ad Boycott: Brands Pulling Ads From Facebook Over Hate Speech

Facebook is facing a growing boycott by disgruntled advertisers of its handling of misinformation and hate speech.

Civil rights groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Anti-Defamation League placed pressure on the campaign earlier in June. Color of Change, one of the boycott-backed groups, said it had joined nearly 100 advertisers.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder, and CEO of the organization, revealed on Friday a slew of new initiatives aimed at battling divisive rhetoric and misinformation.

He said Facebook is banishing hate speech from its advertising site amid the growing boycott. The company says the goal is to establish a “higher quality” of content for its advertising and to ban divisive rhetoric.

Many of the participants are small businesses that make up the majority of eight million advertisers on Facebook. However, many major corporations have distanced themselves, investing millions of dollars a year on the site due to issues.

Here is a list of some of the major advertisers that restrict or stop their advertising on Facebook, with estimates of what they spent last year in the U.S. from Pathmatics’ advertising analytics platform.

ALSO READ: Facebook Upgrades its AI to Detect and Remove COVID-19 Misinformation and Hate Speech

$42.4 million in advertising

The consumer goods giant, one of the world’s largest advertisers, said on Friday that it would stop running ads on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter in the U.S. for at least the rest of 2020. They cited a “polarized election period” as their reason, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company, which owns brands like Dove and Lipton, said that “continuing to advertise on those platforms would not add value to people.” Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream brand owned by the company, will also join the boycott.

$6 million

The automaker, which comprises the Honda and Acura brands, said it would withdraw advertising from Facebook and Instagram in July, WSJ report added. The Japanese carmaker said they “[choose] to stand against hatred and bigotry with people united.”

$947,100

The beauty subscription service announced on Friday, June 26, they shifted their advertisement spending from Facebook and Instagram to other sites and individual content creators in July, following a steady decline in its reliance on the social networking site over the past two years. Birchbox said its Instagram account will remain active.

$22.1 million

The beverage giant, another deep-pocketed advertiser, said it would suspend all paying advertising on all social media sites worldwide for at least 30 days. In a statement, Chief Executive James Quincey said the company would use the time to reevaluate its advertising standards and policies. The official said they would also encourage their social media partners to “expect greater accountability, action, and transparency from them.” 

$2.8 million

Jen Sey, the apparel company’s Chief Marketing Officer, wrote a blog post, condemning Facebook’s “failure to stop the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its site.” The head also claimed that “[Facebook’s] indifference fuels bigotry and abuse and has the power to undermine our democracy and the integrity of our elections.” Ms. Sey wrote that Levi Strauss will at least postpone ads until the end of July, adding that “when we re-engage, it will depend on Facebook’s response.”

$1.6 million

The fitness apparel retailer expressed solidarity with the boycott campaign on Twitter, saying it was “actively engaging with Facebook to seek meaningful change.” A spokeswoman from Lululemon said the company would suspend paid advertisements on Facebook and Instagram.

$22.9 million

John Nitti, the telecommunications company’s chief media officer, said Verizon will pause its advertising until Facebook can “create an acceptable solution” that makes them comfortable. Verizon also stops paid advertisements and unpaid articles.

$3.3 million

The North Face said it will stop posting content and buying ads on Facebook through July but will keep posting posts on Instagram for free. The firm spends more on Facebook than on any other platform other than Google. “We’re in. We’re out,” the retailer wrote on Twitter on June 19.

$1.4 million

Eddie Bauer announced it was removing paying advertising on Facebook and Instagram until July.

$6.2 million

The outdoor goods company said it will immediately withdraw advertisements from Facebook and Instagram globally at least until the end of July, “pending concrete action from the social media giant.” The retailer would continue to post unpaid content on Facebook, which is its second-largest paid advertisement platform.

$22.5 million

The company said it pulled all the advertisements from Facebook and Instagram in July.

ALSO READ: Facebook Bans Troll Pages from the Philippines and North Macedonia for Spreading Coronavirus Misinformation

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