Patagonia joins a growing list of companies boycotting Facebook advertising
Patagonia has joined companies like REI and The North Face and plans to pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram to show support for a movement called “#StopHateForProfit”.
Last week, a group of six organizations asked Facebook advertisers to pause their spending on the social media platform in July. The groups – the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense – urged “big Facebook advertisers to show that they will not support a company that puts profit above security” .
The groups said it was a response to “Facebook’s long history of racist, violent and proven false content on its platform,” adding that the company used its platform for “widespread voter suppression using targeted disinformation.” leave with black voters ”and“ allow incitement to violence against demonstrators who fought for racial justice in America after George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and many others ”.
In a series of tweets attributed to the company’s marketing director, Cory Bayers, Patagonia said it would “run all ads on Facebook and Instagram with immediate effect until at least the end of July pending meaningful action from the social media giant.” .
“For too long Facebook has not taken sufficient steps to stop the spread of hate lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform,” the statement said in part. “From safe elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, the stakes are too high to sit back and keep the company complicit in spreading disinformation and fueling fear and hatred.”
Patagonia has a history of being loud in the political sphere. The company sued US President Donald Trump a few years ago after removing national monuments.
It comes after outdoor recreation retailer The North Face announced it would take the call on Friday.
— The North Face (@thenorthface) June 19, 2020
“We are pausing all domestic paid advertising with Facebook and Instagram until the end of July to support the implementation of stricter guidelines to prevent racist, violent or hateful content and misinformation from circulating specifically on the Facebook platform,” said a spokeswoman for The . North Face said in a statement it emailed. “We hope that they will reconsider their policies and reevaluate our position in the next thirty days.”
Later on Friday, outdoor apparel and leisure retailer REI said it was withdrawing all Facebook and Instagram ads for the month of July.
For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We're pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July. #StopHateForProfit
— REI (@REI) June 19, 2020
Upwork, a freelance platform, said in a tweet that it also paused its Facebook advertising in July. In an email statement, the company said it is pausing advertising on both Facebook and Instagram. “We cannot watch and be complicit in the spread of hatred, racism and misinformation, and so we support the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which calls for advertising on all Facebook platforms to be paused in July 2019.”
On Monday, the CMO of password management company Dashlane, Joy Howard, said in a blog post that the company would also “at least” stop all paid and organic posts on Facebook and Instagram by July.
“Getting away from that – even for a month – will be difficult for many of us. In their relentless pursuit of greatness, most startups rely on performance marketing and get caught up in the endless cycle of ‘spending on scale with constant CPAs’, ”writes in a blog post. “This leads to a world where 40 cents of every VC dollar goes to Facebook, Amazon or Google, and calls for a course correction.”
Facebook reported in January that it has more than 8 million active advertisers on its platform, which generated $ 69.7 billion in advertising revenue in 2019.
The pressure on big brands to pause advertising on Facebook isn’t just coming from outside groups. Some agencies have encouraged their clients to take a break. Last week, advertising agency 360i emailed its clients that they supported the July ad boycott, according to The Wall Street Journal. Elijah Harris, Senior Vice President of Paid Social at IPG Mediabrands, part of the Interpublic Group, also shared a LinkedIn post that said it was “Time to hold the Facebook leadership team accountable … Let’s use our mutual strength to make them a task. ”
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi has also interfered. Last week she pleaded with advertisers to use her “tremendous leverage” to get companies like Facebook to crack down on disinformation.
In response to the boycotts, Facebook shared a statement from its global group vice president Carolyn Everson.
“We deeply respect each brand’s choice and continue to focus on the vital work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information,” she wrote. “Our discussions with marketing specialists and civil rights organizations are about how we can be a force for good together.”
On Sunday, Facebook posted a blog post entitled “Actions We Are Taking To Promote Racial Justice In Our Company And On Our Platform”, which discusses what the company claims it is doing to review its policies to “build a more inclusive platform”. For example, the company says it is “reviewing potential options for dealing with infringing or partially infringing content, aside from the binary decisions to leave or remove”.