Facebook Boycott Grows: Ford Joins Coca-Cola, Starbucks And Other Brands

Daniel Fowler
June 30, 2020

Like Starbucks, Microsoft has not publicly endorsed the wider campaign; in the internal messaging, its chief marketing officer, Chris Capossela, told colleagues: "Our experience tells us that the most impactful means to effect genuine, long-term change is through direct dialogue and meaningful action with our media partners, including the suspension of real marketing dollars". The campaign was recently launched by six organisations in the United States, including the Anti-Defamation League and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, and plans to call on organisations in Europe to follow suit, Reuters reported.

Both have signed up to stop buying ads on the world's largest social media platform for July.

A new online campaign is taking aim at one of the biggest names in tech - and advertising. They join a list of major brands including Adidas, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Conagra, Denny's, Ford, Starbucks, Unilever and scores of smaller businesses that have halted advertising on the platform.

Many brands are not as reliant on Facebook as they once were because they have realized Instagram is more valuable for attracting younger customers and because Facebook has lost some of its more targeted advertising abilities after the data of up to 50 million Facebook users was misused by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Currently, the 10 demands focus on accountability, decency, and support.

The groups say Facebook "allowed incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in America" and "turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression on their platform".

Asking for total harmony on the platform "would be hard to impossible for Facebook to deliver", she said, and would require "fundamental changes to the way user-generated platforms operate, and how much they allow people to say".

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Lululemon tweeted its support for StopHateForProfit and said it is actively engaging with Facebook to seek meaningful change, while Arc'teryx says Facebook profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism and violence.

With several MNC giants stopping ads on Facebook, the social networking site and its founder-CEO Mark Zuckerberg have suffered huge valuation losses recently. According to Bloomberg, the drop came after Unilever announced that it would stop spending money with Facebook's properties in 2020.

Content moderation concerns have long dogged the company, which has often landed in regulators' cross hairs as it struggles to balance freedom of speech with its responsibility to keep Facebook users safe. Also moving forward, any ads labeling another demographic as unsafe will not be allowed.

"We want to do more here to prohibit the kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric that has been used to sow discord". It will also start to label content that may violate their policies if it is deemed newsworthy.

Citing the "long-overdue" national reckoning around racial injustice, Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) wrote to Zuckerberg in an effort to highlight the rift Facebook's stated policies and its track record. Similarly, there are also no exceptions for politicians.

"We know we have more work to do, and we'll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM [Global Alliance for Responsible Media], and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight", the spokesperson said.

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