From Starbucks to Unilever: Here are All the Big Companies Pulling Ads Out of Facebook

The world’s biggest social media platform is facing a reckoning as more and more big-ticket companies have announced ad boycotts because of Facebook's hands-off policies on misinformation and hate speech. 

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Facebook has refused to police posts from U.S. President Donald Trump, many of which some critics say violate rules on hate speech and voter suppression. This was in stark contrast to how Twitter has handled the same posts—choosing to tag some of the President’s posts warning other users of their sensitivity.

Following widespread protests in the U.S. related to the death of George Floyd, some civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League have pushed for the ad boycott.

According to the New York Times, a majority of Facebook’s advertisers are small businesses, many of which have joined the boycott. However, major brands have joined the call in recent weeks, halting advertising on the platform in protest of how it has been handling the issue.

The New York Times has compiled a lst of the most high-profile companies that have joined the Facebook ad boycott: 

1| Coca-Cola

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” said James Quincey, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days. We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”


2| Diageo

“Diageo strives to promote inclusion and diversity, including through our marketing campaigns,” Diageo said in a statement. “From 1 July we will pause all paid advertising globally on major social media platforms. We will continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content.”

3| Beam Suntory

"We stand up for what's right, and we stand with all who are committed to the fight against hate speech, racism and prejudice,” the liquor company said in a statement. “That's why Beam Suntory is joining #StopHateForProfit, pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US across our brand portfolio throughout July,"

4| Starbucks

“We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online, and we stand against hate speech,” the coffee chain said in a statement. “We believe more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities, and we believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change.

“We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech.”

4| Eddie Bauer

“In support of the #StopHateForProfit initiative, Eddie Bauer will suspend all paid ads on Facebook and Instagram through the end of July, effective immediately,” the retailer said in a tweet

5| Honda US

“For the month of July, American Honda is withholding its advertising on Facebook and Instagram,” the car company said in a tweet. “We choose to stand with people united against hate and racism. This is in?alignment with our company’s values, which are grounded in human respect. #StopHateForProfit”

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6| Levi Strauss & Co.

“As a company driven by our values, we at Levi Strauss & Co. have a responsibility to speak up and take action when we see major issues arise that impact our employees, fans and community at large,” said Jen Sey, CMO of Levi’s Brand, Levi Strauss & Co. in a blog post. “It is in this spirit that we are voicing our concern about Facebook’s failure to stop the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform. We believe this inaction fuels racism and violence and also has the potential to threaten our democracy and the integrity of our elections.

“That’s why we are joining the #StopHateForProfit?campaign, pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising globally and across all our brands to “hit pause on hate.” We will suspend advertising at least through the end of July. When we re-engage will depend on Facebook’s response.”

7| Lululemon

We stand in solidarity with the @NAACP, @ADL and others in the #StopHateForProfit campaign,” the company said in a tweet. We believe we all have a responsibility to create a truly inclusive society and are actively engaging with @Facebook to seek meaningful change.

8| The North Face

“We’re in. We’re Out @Facebook, ,” the company said simply on Twitter, adding the hashtag “#StopHateForProfit”

9| Ben & Jerry’s

“We will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign,” the icecream company said on Twitter. “Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate.”


10| Unilever

“Given our Responsibility Framework and the polarized atmosphere in the U.S., we have decided that starting now through at least the end of the year, we will not run brand advertising in social media newsfeed platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S.,” the company said in a statement. “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.”

11| Vans

"We are joining the #StopHateForProfit Campaign and pulling ad dollars from Facebook for the month of July," the shoe company said on Instagram. "additionally, we'll use that money to support black communities through empowerment and education programs and expand our support of racial equality and access initiatives."

On Friday, messaging app Viber announced that it was cutting all business ties with Facebook, including running ads on the social network site.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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