Facebook facing more Ad boycotts; Coca-Cola, Unilever and Honda suspend Ads

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Global social media giant, Facebook is witnessing additional brands dropping out/suspending ads from its platform following to Verizon’s revelation yesterday that it will support “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign.

Reports suggest a growing list of more than 100 brands who chose to withdraw/suspend their ads on Facebook temporarily or otherwise.

Major consumer products manufacturer, Unilever, the name behind brands such as Dove, Lipton and Hellmann’s, is withdrawing its advertising from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. for the rest of the year.

“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society,” Unilever communicated in a statement on its website.

Another major force in global advertising, Coca-Cola stated that it will suspend ads on social media for at least 30 days. “There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” James Quincey, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, responded in a brief statement.

“We will take this time to reassess our advertising standards and policies to determine whether revisions are needed internally, and what more we should expect of our social media partners to rid the platforms of hate, violence and inappropriate content,” Coca-Cola declared in a statement.

Responding to the growing pressure on its platform for substantial action against “Hate Speech” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement yesterday pledging several practical and policy changes on the platform:

  • Providing voting information and helping people register to vote
  • Preventing “new forms of potential voter suppression”
  • Banning “any content that misleads people on when or how they can vote,” including “respond and remove false claims about polling conditions in the 72 hours leading into election day.”
  • Helping prevent voter intimidation on the platform
  • Ads policy will now “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”
  • Labeling but allowing content from public figures that otherwise violates terms
  • Removing content, regardless of the source, “if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote”

Mr. Zuckerberg said that the company is trying to balance “public health and racial justice while maintaining our democratic traditions around free expression and voting.” by implementing these policies.

Unilever is the first major company to include Twitter as well in the recent advertising ban. Twitter vice president of global client solutions Sarah Personette stated the microblogging and social media platform has policies in place to protect people online and works to surface marginalized voices.

“We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time,” she responded in a statement in acknowledgment of Unilever’s ban.