Washington: Facebook is facing a growing boycott by advertisers unhappy with its handling of misinformation and hate speech including recent posts from President Trump which Twitter flagged as misleading or glorifying violence.
The backlash intensified late last month, as a flurry of misinformation appeared on Facebook amid worldwide protests against racism and police brutality over George Floyd’s death.
The effort gained traction earlier in June amid pressure from civil rights organizations which gathered nearly 100 clients to stop advertising on the platform.
Many of the clients are of small businesses, which make up the bulk of Facebook’s eight million advertisers. But recently, several large companies who spend millions of dollars a year on the platform have also pulled back their investments.
Here is a list of some of the major advertisers who are limiting or stopping their advertising on Facebook with estimates of what they invested last year from the advertising analytics platform Pathmatics.
Unilever – $42.4 million
One of the biggest advertisers in the world, said on Friday that it would stop running ads on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in the United States for at least the rest of 2020, citing a polarized election period.
Honda America – $6 million
The automaker said on Friday that it would withhold ads from Facebook and Instagram in July, choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism.
Birch box – $947,100
The beauty subscription service said on Friday that it would move advertising spending in July from Facebook to other platforms and individual content creators.
Coca-Cola – $22.1 million
The beverage giant said on Friday that it would stop all paid ads on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days. James Quincey, the chief executive, said in a statement that the company would use the time to revise its advertising standards. “We expect greater accountability, action and transparency from them,” a Coca-Cola spokeswoman said that the company was not joining the official Facebook boycott.
Levi Strauss & Company – $2.8 million
The clothing company, wrote a blog post on Friday criticizing Facebook’s failure to stop the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform and saying that this inaction fuels racism and violence and also has the potential to threaten our democracy and the integrity of our elections. Ms. Sey wrote that Levi Strauss would suspend advertising at least through the end of July, adding that “when we re-engage will depend on Facebook’s response.”
Lulu lemon – $1.6 million
The fitness apparel retailer voiced solidarity on Twitter with the boycott campaign and said that it was actively engaging with Facebook to seek meaningful change. A Lululemon spokeswoman said that the company would suspend paid ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Verizon – $22.9 million
The telecommunications company, said in a statement on Thursday that it was pausing advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that is comfortable and consistent with what was done with YouTube and other partners. Verizon is stopping both paid ads and unpaid posts.
Eddie Bauer – $1.4 million
The retailer said on Tuesday that it was suspending paid ads on Facebook and Instagram through July.
Patagonia – $6.2 million
The outdoor products company said on Sunday that it would immediately remove ads globally from Facebook and Instagram at least until the end of July. The retailer will continue posting unpaid content on Facebook, which it said is its second-largest paid advertising platform.
REI – $22.5 million
The retailer said on June 19 that it was pulling all advertising from Facebook and Instagram in July.
The North Face – $3.3 million
“We’re in. We’re out,” the retailer wrote on Twitter on June 19, saying that it will stop posting content and buying ads on Facebook through July, but will continue to put free posts on Instagram. The company spends more on Facebook than it does on any other platform besides Google.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO in a statement said, “We spend billions of dollars a year to keep our platforms safe and work with outside experts to review and update its policies”. “We know we have more work to do,” he added.
In recent days, Facebook removed ads from Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign that featured a red triangular symbol used by the Nazis during World War II. The company also announced that it would gradually allow users to opt out of seeing political ads. On Sunday, it acknowledged in a blog post that its enforcement of content rules “isn’t perfect.”