Unilever has become the latest company to boycott Facebook advertising. The CPG giant announced on Friday that it’s pausing all ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter throughout "at least" the end of the year.
"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. 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," the company said in a statement.
The statement added that Unilever will maintain its planned media investment in America by shifting spend to other media.
Facebook and Twitter shares both fell more than 7 percent after the Unilever announcement.
"Through [the Unilever Responsibility Framework], we are actively engaging with all digital platforms to make meaningful change and impact trust and transparency," Unilever’s statement says.
It adds: "We have made substantial progress, and we acknowledge the efforts of our partners, but there is much more to be done, especially in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S. 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."
Last week, a group of six U.S. organizations called for marketers to stop advertising on Facebook throughout July due to the social network’s lack of control and policing of hate speech on its platform. The organizations include Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.
Earlier this week, Procter & Gamble chief brand officer Marc Pritchard told Campaign that it will consider pulling its Facebook advertising if it decides the social platform’s standards are allowing for "hateful, discriminatory or denigrating" content.