With the Facebook ad boycott, the push for inclusivity arrives in ad buying

Digiday 30 Jun 2020 04:01
June 30, 2020 by Seb Joseph

As more advertisers pull money from Facebook over its handling of hate speech, attention has turned to how their dollars are funding similar divisive content across the rest of the internet, right down to how they segment audiences.

As June comes to a close, some of the world’s largest advertisers including Unilever, Verizon, Diageo, Honda and Coca-Cola have canceled ad buys with Facebook for at least until the end of July.

The spark, the killing of George Floyd last month and global protests it spurred, prompted a reckoning with racism for those businesses that made them quickly align themselves with protesters calling for Facebook to be defunded over its handling of hate speech. In doing so, advertisers have set a precedent for whom they buy ads from in the future. 

“This is a good start but anti-racist work must be continued and sustained, underpinned by tangible actions throughout the business and industry,” said Leila Fataar, founder of marketing and communications company Platform 13. “Truly acknowledging, facing, and addressing the uncomfortable truths about yourself and your business is what’s required. This is not a situation that can be ‘fixed’ overnight, or in a month or even by the end of the year.”

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