Unilever has announced that it will halt all advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter till the end of 2020. The company usually spends up to $1 billion on advertising and promoting its products every year.
Why then is it putting a hold on this aspect of its business? The company says it wants the above-mentioned platforms to show more responsibility.
“The complexities of the current cultural landscape have placed a renewed responsibility on brands to learn, respond, and act to drive a trusted and safe digital ecosystem. Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will be monitoring ongoing and will revisit our current position if necessary,” Unilever said in a statement.
Organisations like the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and others launched a campaign they called “Stop Hate for Profit”. The campaign urges advertisers to pause their spending on Facebook throughout the month of July 2020.
Currently, the campaign is gaining a lot of ground as protests against police brutality and racism continue across the US. Over 90 companies have halted spending on Facebook, with Unilever joining the movement.
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Twitter has assured its partners that it is taking the situation seriously. It added that it understands the position of these organisations.
“We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and marginalized groups.
“We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time,” Twitter’s VP of global client solutions, Sarah Personette, said in response to Unilever’s decision.
A Facebook spokesperson also told NBC News that it will continue to update and review its policies regarding hate speech.
“We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies. We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology, and policies to continue this fight,” the spokesperson said.
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