Unilever to stop advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
The huge multinational company Unilever invests over $1 billion on its online advertising campaigns and is globally recognized with over 400 brands like Knorr, Dove, Lipton, and Lifebuoy. The London-based consumer goods giant, Unilever, announced on Friday, 27th June 2020, that it will stop advertising on social media giants: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter until the end of the year in the US. “Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will be monitoring ongoing and will revisit our current position if necessary,” Unilever said in a statement. This decision was taken by Unilever as part of ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign against Facebook and Twitter. Shares of Facebook and Twitter instantly fell by more than 7% after this statement.
The social media giants have recently adopted controversial policies regarding hate speech and social injustice in the US. Facebook, especially is under extreme pressure from the public as well as corporations over the way it handles content moderation and racially charged posts. After the death of George Floyd, things have heated up in the US for these social media companies. Other giant names such as Coca Cola, Levi’s and Dockers also announced halting all online advertisements through Facebook and Twitter, on Friday.
Facebook and Twitter did come forth to talk about their progress in the matter and how they are working towards improving content moderation on their platforms. “We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “I am committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues,” Zuckerberg said. “But I also stand against hate or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we’re committed to removing that content too, no matter where it comes from.”
A lesson for Facebook
These measures are a way of holding Facebook accountable and forcing it to reconsider its policies. The stance of these companies, who spend millions on Facebook, is clear: they stand for the values of togetherness and inclusion and are committed to become a part of positive change. The consumer brands conveyed a strong message to Facebook: their profits will not be worth the social or racial injustice promoted through their platforms. Facebook is sure to lose some big bucks as a result of this.