Aishwarya Ramesh
Social Media

Unilever, Honda, Verizon temporarily withdraw Facebook ad spends in USA

In a show of solidarity against hate speech, racism, misinformation and fake news - these brands have announced they won't advertise on Facebook.

Unilever, the FMCG giant that owns Dove, Rexona, Bru, Knorr and other brands has announced that it will no longer be advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the USA till the end of 2020. So far in 2020, Unilever has spent more than $11.8 million dollars on advertising on Facebook, according to marketing analytics firm Pathmatics, as reported by CNBC.

"We will maintain our total planned media investment in the U.S. by shifting to other media," says a statement on Unilever's website.

Unilever joins a growing list of brands that are withdrawing ad spends from these platforms. This is a bid to call for better regulation to prevent violent and racist content (and misinformation) from circulating on these widely used sites.

This is a result of a movement called 'Stop Hate for Profit'. The following statement can be seen on the website; a clarion call for advertisers to withdraw spending on the platforms to take a stance against racism and hate speech.

"We are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook's services in July."
Stop Hate for Profit website

Carmaker Honda has also joined this list. "For the month of July, American Honda will withhold its advertising on Facebook and Instagram, choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism. This is in alignment with our company’s values, which are grounded in human respect,” Honda said in a statement, as reported by Adage. The report also mentions that this move includes spending for the Honda brand as well as Honda-owned Acura.

On 25th June 2020, telecommunications giant Verizon also announced that they would be pausing ad spends on Facebook and its platforms. “We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with we’ve done with YouTube and other partners,” said John Nitti, Chief Media Officer for Verizon, in a statement to CNN.

“We do not make policy changes tied to revenue pressure,” Carolyn Everson, vice president of Global Business Group at Facebook, said in an email to advertisers last weekend that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “We set our policies based on principles rather than business interests.”

Other brands that have joined in to boycott Facebook ads are Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Upwork - freelancing site, outdoor apparel company Northface and more.