A Third Of Top Brands Expected To Stop Social Media Spending Amid Anti-Facebook Sentiment Over Hate Speech

Written by Dana Sanchez
social media spending
A third of the top brands are expected to stop social media spending amid anti-Facebook sentiment over hate speech, according to a survey by The World Federation of Advertisers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a joint hearing of the Commerce and Judiciary Committees about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election, April 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The boycott is underway against Facebook and other social media platforms. Almost a third of the world’s biggest brands say they’re on board and plan to suspend their advertising spending, according to a survey study.

The World Federation of Advertisers, a trade group that covers 90 percent of the world’s ad spending, polled 58 members who are responsible for more than $90 billion in global ad spending.

The findings suggest that the boycott has the potential to extend to the majority of blue-chip advertisers, Financial Times reported.

Six civil rights groups including the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press, Common Sense and Anti-Defamation League, called on advertisers to stop ad spending on Facebook in July. The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign was launched after George Floyd died in police custody.

The civil rights groups took out a full-page ad in The Los Angeles Times demanding Facebook remove hateful rhetoric and messages that incite violence against protected groups. 

Stephan Loerke, CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers, said he expects the impact of the #StopHateForProfit campaign to last be more far-reaching than just a boycott of ads in the month of July.

“It feels like a turning point,” Loerke said, according to Financial Times. “What’s striking is the number of brands who are saying they are reassessing their longer-term media allocation strategies and demanding structural changes in the way platforms address racial intolerance, hate speech and harmful content.”

Jamarlin Martin, CEO and founder of The Moguldom Nation, discussed some of the consequences of advertisers pulling out of Facebook.

“I don’t think it’s just the big brands removing advertising liquidity under Facebook, it’s also the content that has to be divorced from ads, that also removes ad liquidity. This could turn into a ‘RUN ON FACEBOOK'”, Martin tweeted.

“If Facebook removes a lot of content from its platform, that means smaller reach for advertisers,” Martin said in a prepared statement. “So it’s not just the amount of ads, it is also how much content will Facebook block on its platform from ads.”

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

Dozens of household brands have joined the boycott of Facebook, which gets more than 75 percent of its revenue from small and medium-sized advertisers. The boycott has hurt Facebook’s reputation, and its share price was down 9 percent this week, FT reported.

Advertisers who have paused their spending include German automaker Volkswagen (that includes Audi and Porsche brands). SAP (Europe’s most valuable tech company) said it won’t restart advertising until it sees a “significant, action-driven commitment to combating the spread of hate speech and racism” from Facebook.

Others joining the boycott include Unilever, Verizon, Adidas, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Ford, HP, The North Face, Hershey, outdoor apparel and equipment companies North Face, Patagonia and Recreational Equipment, Ben & Jerry’s and Eddie Bauer.