Dozens of Retailers to Pull Facebook Ads in Boycott Starting Today – Total Retail

Posted By on July 1, 2020

Last week, we reported that Patagoniawas the latest company to join other retailers such asREI and The North Face in a boycott of Facebook and Instagram advertising for the month of July. Today, July 1, dozens of companies begin boycotting the social network after a civil rights coalition, which includes the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the NAACP, launched the #StopHateforProfit campaign and called on corporations to put a pause on advertising on Facebook, citing the company's "repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms."

The campaign's primary objective is to stop online hate and racism by asking social media giants like Facebook to adopt new features that curb such behavior. The list ofretailers and brands participating in the boycott includes Coca-Cola, Adidas, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, Clorox, Levi Strauss, Unilever, and many more, according to CNN. Last week,FacebookCEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company will change its policies to prohibit hate speech in its advertisements, reports CNBC. However, that isn't satisfying many who are calling for more action.

Total Retail's Take:As the old adage says, money talks. As the #StopHateforProfit campaign grows, we've already seen reports of Zuckerberg's $7.2 billion net worth lossfrom the halt in Facebook and Instagram advertising, and shares of the social media company fell 8.3 percent last Friday. That equates to an elimination of$56 billion from Facebooks market value, according to Bloomberg,and the month of July has only just begun. The civil rights coalition that called for the boycott has certainly succeeded in getting Facebook's attention, and now will wait not-so-patiently for the social network to answer to its demands toaddress racism across its platforms.

However, from a retailer's perspective, how can companies give up an entire month's worth of social media advertising, which has proven to drive purchasing? Levis Strauss CMO Jen Sey said in a statement, "We will suspend advertising at least through the end of July. When we re-engage will depend on Facebooks response."

This signals that some larger brands are looking to hold off on advertising with Facebook indefinitely until they're satisfied with the social network's actions. However, the retailers participating in the#StopHateforProfit campaign haven't stated how they plan to make up for the lost revenue generated from social advertising, as well as they're adjusting their marketing strategies to compensate. A logical guess would be to move ad spend from Facebook and Instagram to other popular social media platforms, such as Tik Tok and Snapchat. We'll be keeping close watch through July as Facebook responds to the boycott, and retailers evaluate other ways to drive sales without advertising with the social media company.

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Dozens of Retailers to Pull Facebook Ads in Boycott Starting Today - Total Retail

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