Facebook Shares Drop As Starbucks, Verizon Join The Escalating Boycott


An advertising boycott of Facebook called for by top civil rights groups continues to gather momentum with over 100 marketers, including Unilever, Verizon, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and more, announcing they will not work with the tech giant until “meaningful action” is taken to address misinformation and hate speech. 


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.

Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Unilever, which owns brands like Dove Soap and Lipton Tea, are the latest major companies to announce they will quit advertising with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the rest of the year, 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 boycott 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 this week from outspoken ice creamery Ben & Jerry’s, clothing chain Eddie Bauer, film distributor Magnola Pictures, messaging app Viber, 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 giving an “upbeat” presentation to advertisers and agency executives on Tuesday and announcing Friday a new policy to begin labeling posts from politicians that violate its policies, but are newsworthy; despite this action, Facebook, along with Twitter, has seen its shares fall by more than 7 percent.

North Face was the first big brand to join the boycott, announcing last Friday that it would halt all U.S. paid advertising with Facebook and Instagram, closely followed by fellow outdoor apparel stores REI and Patagonia, and freelancing platform Upwork.

Dozens of smaller companies have similarly pledged their allegiance and multiple ad agencies have reportedly encouraged their clients to move away from Facebook; online therapy startup, Talkspace, withdrew

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