Coke, Starbucks, Unilever And Diageo Press Pause On Social Media Advertising

A large group of Coca-Cola red cans stacked in a supermarket in Spain.
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Some of the world’s biggest advertisers have announced they will be discontinuing all social media advertising, as pressure mounts on tech giants to clamp down on hate speech and misinformation.

A number of advertisers, including The North Face and Patagonia, have withdrawn their Facebook advertisements in recent weeks as part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign.

However, the latest development will see The Coca-Cola Company, Starbucks and Diageo extend this boycott to all social media platforms.

Unilever has also announced it will  be pausing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter advertising “through at least the end of the year”.

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media. The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days,” said The Coca-Cola Company chairman and CEO James Quincey.

“We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”

“We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online, and we stand against hate speech,” Starbucks said in a statement.

“We believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change. We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech.”

Diageo also confirmed it would be starting a social media advertising pause.

The boycott is expected to cost both Facebook and Twitter millions, at a time where many brands are already reducing their ad spend.

Both companies saw a drop in stock price on Friday.

Facebook has since responded by introducing a host of new hate speech protections to better monitor content on the platform.

Twitter has also responded to the boycott, pointing to its previous efforts in improving safety on the platform.

“We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and marginalized groups,” said Twitter’s VP of global client solutions Sarah Personette.

“We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time.”

 

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