Many advertisers who boycotted Facebook in July to condemn the sites’ propagation of hate speech say they’re going back. However, the software company’s strategic forecast indicated that the Facebook Ad Boycott doesn’t make a significant financial toll.
Few months ago, an alliance of civil rights organizations urged the social media site to take action for hate speech. Hence, several marketers pushed through with the Facebook Ad Boycott. Company heavyweights like Ford, Honda, Patagonia, REI, Unilever, and Verizon, held back from the network their ad dollars.
Many companies said they’d at least push their expected July boycotts into August. However, they claim Facebook still took inadequate actions over hate speech.
Who are returning to the social media platform?
Companies like Heineken and The North Face said they would start advertisements on the website in August. Others expect to hold ads off the social media network until July 31. This involves beverage giant Coca-Cola, which stopped on social network ads last July 1 to review internal policies. Coca-Cola plans to go back to ads on YouTube and LinkedIn on August 1. However, they’re keeping a freeze globally on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream continues to join the Facebook Ad Boycott trend. A company spokesperson said it will not position advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the entirety of 2020. However, they’ll place some spots linked to political advocacy or electoral campaigns it funds.
Some members of the alliance have stated they never planned to get businesses to pledge themselves to continue beyond July. Therefore the fact that others are doing so is an indication that they have met expectations.
“The ad pause — all it was was a month-long pause,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. He said several companies informed him they should proceed with the delay. However, Greenblatt refused to disclose names or numbers.
What’s the next step?
In June, civil-right organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP urged advertisers to cut out expenditures on Facebook and Instagram. They proposed 10 actions they said Facebook would take to raising hate speech and disinformation on their sites. The measures involved hiring a civil-rights specialist at the company’s highest echelons and the issuance of reimbursement to marketers whose commercials ran amid offensive material.
“We’ve invested billions of dollars to keep hate off of our platform, and we have a clear plan of action with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media and the industry to continue this fight,” a Facebook spokeswoman said.
At the beginning of the protest, Facebook announced it will recruit a vice-president level employee to concentrate on civil-rights jobs. It also committed to a new report by the Media Evaluation Council’s industry assessment monitor, set to launch in August. The council will examine the guidelines that publishers and developers will obey if they wish to make money off of their Facebook material through advertising.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the business respected its marketers but was not reliant on big labels. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said it is focusing on human rights not because of marketers’ interest but because of the correct thing.