Following Unilever, Coca Cola and Verizon, Starbucks and Diageo are the latest company to say it will pause social media ads after a campaign led by civil rights organizations called for an ad boycott of Facebook, saying it doesn’t do enough to stop racist and violent content.
Starbucks said on Sunday that its actions were not part of the “#StopHateforProfit” campaign, but that it is pausing its social ads while talking with civil rights organisations and its media partners about how to stop hate speech online.
The coffee chain’s announcement follows statements from Unilever, the European consumer-goods giant behind Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap; Coca-Cola; cellphone company Verizon and outdoors companies like Patagonia, Eddie Bauer and REI; film company Magnolia Pictures; jeans maker Levi’s and dozens of smaller companies.
On the other hand, Diageo statement on social media advertising pause stated that Diageo strives to promote inclusion and diversity, including through our marketing campaigns. From 1st July we will pause all paid advertising globally on major social media platforms. We will continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content.
Some of the companies will pause ads just on Facebook, while others will refrain from advertising more broadly on social media.
In response to companies halting advertising, Facebook executive Carolyn Everson said earlier this week the social networking platform is committed to purging hateful content from its services.
“Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organisations are about how, together, we can be a force for good,“ said Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group.
Facebook’s market value dropped on Friday by more than 8 percent, or about USD 50 billion, as more companies said they would pause ads.
Twitter stock also dropped more than 7 percent on Friday.
Sarah Personette, vice president of global client solutions at Twitter, said on Friday the company’s “mission is to serve the public conversation and ensure Twitter is a place where people can make human connections, seek and receive authentic and credible information, and express themselves freely and safely”.
She added that Twitter is “respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time”.