Major brands, including Bailey’s, Gordon’s gin, Smirnoff vodka and Johnny Walker whiskey join a growing revolt of big brand advertisers against the failure of social media platforms to control the publication of hateful and misleading content.
On Friday, Coca Cola, Levi Jeans and Unilever all pulled advertising from some or all social media platforms. Hershey decided on Saturday to do the same. Unilever; maker of various health care brands, is taking things a step further by nixing advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter through the end of the year. Starbucks also joined the masses on social media platforms.
Diageo said it will pause all paid advertising globally on major social media platforms from July 1, but the company left the door open to returning if the social media platforms respond. “Diageo strives to promote inclusion and diversity, including through our marketing campaigns. From 1 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,” the company said.
Even so, the backlash from some of the world’s biggest advertisers and brands that like Coca Cola, Levi’s and Guinness, that have defined the advertising landscape, is a major challenge to Facebook in particular. Facebook shares plunged 8.3 pc on Friday as the advertising boycott gathered pace, wiping out a staggering $56 bn in the paper value of shares.
Brands decided to protest by not advertising due to social media's failure to remove hate speech and the like by some posters.