Over 90 brands including names such as Coca Cola, Verizon & Starbucks have announced a boycott of social media advertising to put pressure on platforms for taking action against racist content.
The tragic incident of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota, US has caused a flurry across the world, leading to varies protests against racism. In the A&M world, Black professionals have come together to push leaderships into making work environment and opportunities inclusive and fair. Brands are rebranding themselves, chopping off aspects that make them look racist. In the most recent change in the wave, marketers are pledging to stop/boycott social media advertising unless platforms take concrete steps to stop misinformation and hate speech in these virtual spaces.
The boycott works in two ways: The organisations are putting pressure on the platforms as well as acknowledging the impact of appearing alongside content that can be deemed misinformation or hate speech. The upcoming 2020 US Elections are an important factor that is making marketers force action against the spread of misinformation.
The boycott efforts are largely being led under the #StopHateforProfit campaign. It is being organised by civil rights groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Anti-Defamation League. While some brands have joined the efforts directly, others have paused advertising without directly supporting the campaign.
Some of the prominent advertisers include Coca Cola (paused advertising for at least 30 days, will reassess advertising policies) and Starbucks (paused advertising but hasn’t joined #StopHateForProfit). Unilever, Diageo, Verizon, Levi’s, Eddie Bauer, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Beam Suntory are some of the other prominent names.
Most of the boycott campaign is concentrated on putting pressure on Facebook, which has been enjoying a lion share of advertising in the social media space. While the durations vary, most brands have decided to boycott social media advertising in July and come up with plans to figure the next set of steps after internal conversations.