Best Buy, Ford Join Over 150 Companies In Massive Facebook Boycott

TOPLINE

An advertising boycott of Facebook called for by top civil rights groups continues to gather momentum with over 150 marketers—most recently joined by Best Buy, Ford, Adidas, Starbucks and Unilever—announcing they will not work with the tech giant until “meaningful action” is taken to address misinformation and hate speech. 

KEY FACTS

Civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, launched the #StopHateForProfit campaign on June 17, pressuring large companies to halt advertising with a platform they say doesn’t stop “bad actors using the platform to do harm” at least through the month of July.

Best Buy told Forbes Monday that it will boycott Facebook and Instagram in July, following similar announcements from companies like Ford, Adidas and subsidiary Reebok, Clorox, Patreon, Conagara Brands, Denny’s, Pepsi-owned SodaStream and Edgewell Personal Care earlier in the day which add to an unfriending list of over 150 big-name brands that spend hundreds of millions of dollars with Facebook every year.

CNN confirmed Monday that Microsoft quietly suspended its Facebook and Instagram advertising in May, weeks ahead of the #StopHateForProfit launch, and may be the biggest advertiser yet to quit Facebook this year (Microsoft spent more than $115 million on Facebook ads in 2019, according to advertising analytics company Pathmatics).

Over the past week, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Honda, Hershey’s and Unilever, which owns brands like Dove Soap and Lipton Tea, have also joined the boycott, though Coca-Cola and Starbucks—initiating Sunday an advertising pause on “all social media platforms” except YouTube—said they weren’t officially joining the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

Verizon said it would boycot the tech giant on Thursday after the ADL penned a letter to companies which mentioned finding an advertisement for Verizon “appearing next to a video from the conspiracy group QAnon drawing on hateful and antisemitic rhetoric”; compounding similar announcements last week from outspoken ice creamery Ben & Jerry’s, apparel companies Levi Strauss and Lululemon, film distributor Magnola Pictures, messaging app Viber, global nonprofit Habitat For Humanity, backpack producer JanSport, beauty subscription service Birchbox and more.

Procter & Gamble Co., which is considered an advertising trendsetter, said it is reviewing all the platforms it advertises on for objectionable content, according to The Wall Street Journal, and won’t work “on or near content that we determine is hateful, denigrating or discriminatory.”

As the list continues to grow, Facebook has tried to mitigate damage, reportedly…


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