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

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.

This decision is part of a larger boycott of Facebook and Instagram organized by the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP and other organizations called Stop hate for profit campaign. Coca-Cola goes further than some of these companies and bans all advertising globally 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,” said a statement from Coca-Cola Company CEO James Quincey posted on the brand’s 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 the 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 largest companies participating in boycott before Coca-Cola’s involvement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced a series of policy changes which, without responding explicitly to the boycott, seems designed to try to respond to many of the criticisms the company has faced 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 the month of 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.

Yet 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 grown with major American companies after gaining the support of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand and the film distributor Magnolia Pictures. In one open letter posted yesterday, the ADL provides more concrete details on the changes the boycott seeks to produce in Facebook’s policies and its approach to moderation.

“Today, we are asking all businesses to stand behind our deepest-rooted American values ​​of freedom, equality and justice and not to advertise on Facebook services in July,” reads we have 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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