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More than 1,000 firms boycotted Facebook

Advertisers’ July boycott of Facebook over hate speech didn’t go far enough, for some. The boycott — which saw more than 1,000 advertisers pause ads as part of a campaign named StopHateForProfit — is set to have an impact on the social media giant’s third-quarter earnings, Facebook said in a results announcement last week.

Large businesses such as Unilever, Starbucks and Coca-Cola joined the movement, as did Pernod Ricard, whose North America CEO and chairman Ann Mukherjee noted the latest campaign wasn’t the first time businesses have paused ads on social media over hate speech. In 2017, L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and others pulled advertising from YouTube over the misplacement of ads next to extremist content.

Pernod Ricard is developing a series of apps for consumers to report hate speech online and wants to work with other businesses to tackle such content, and Mukherjee said people now want companies to take a stand on societal issues. “Consumers are not just buying brands. They want to buy into brands. They want to understand your values, what you stand for and what you stand against. Employees today want to join companies that they can also buy into,” she stated.

Unilever has pulled ads from Facebook and Twitter for the rest of the year in the U.S., it said in June. And, according to Eric Levy, a lecturer in marketing at Queen Mary University of London, it may be a while until some companies return to social media. “With things downturning a bit, brands are spending less. But I think that brands are going to start to spend more once the economy picks up, and possibly also after the (U.S. presidential) election,” he told CNBC.

After more than 1,000 firms boycotted Facebook, what’s next for ads on social media?, CNBC, Aug 4

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