Stop Hate 4 Profit Facebook Gets Boycott: Pepsi reportedly joined the advertising boycott that several companies are taking against Facebook, people close to the matter told Fox Business Sunday.
The second largest food and beverage company in the world is reportedly pulling ads from Facebook through July and August as part of a “global boycott,” sources told Fox Business. Pepsi has not yet made an official announcement on the subject.
Pepsi’s boycott could have a large impact because of its large size, as it is reported to spend as much as $2.6 billion every year on marketing, promotion and advertising, the news outlet noted. Like most companies, Pepsi is spending an increasing portion of its advertising on social media websites.
Facebook has been consistently criticized for not taking enough action to remove or addressing hate speech or comments considered inappropriate. As of Sunday, more than 150 companies, including Ben and Jerry’s and Patagonia, have vocally expressed their concerns about the platform and vowed to pull their Facebook ads.
Ad agency Goodby Silverstein announced last week that it would join the boycott against Facebook and is urging clients like Adobe, HP, PayPal and BMW to do the same. Pepsi is also one of the agency’s clients, according to Fox Business.
“We will join #StopHate4Profit and stop posting on @Facebook for the month of July,” the agency tweeted. “We are taking this action to protest the platform’s irresponsible propagation of hate speech, racism, and misleading voter information.”
Meanwhile, other companies like Starbucks and Coca-Cola have said their boycotts will apply to all social media platforms.
Pepsi and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Recent criticism of Facebook came when President Trump said on social media as the protests broke out over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Twitter decided to label the president’s tweet with a warning that it was “glorifying violence” hours after it was posted.
Facebook makes about $1 billion per quarter on advertising, and the social media platform’s stock fell more than 8 percent on Friday as more companies joined the boycott, according to Fox Business.
Starbucks on Sunday joined the drumbeat of brands pledging to pull advertising from Facebook and other social media platforms or taking other actions, putting economic pressure on the companies to address concerns about containing hate speech.
The coffee chain joins big brands including Coca-Cola, Unilever, Hershey, Honda, Eddie Bauer, The North Face, Levi’s, Ben & Jerry’s and Verizon in taking various steps.
Much of the activity stems from the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which includes the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.
While some of the brands have pledged to halt advertising in July, some are taking additional steps or different approaches.
Save better, spend better: Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here
“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,” Starbucks said in a statement. The company said it’s not part of the boycott.
Hershey said it will cut spending on Facebook and Instagram by a third for the rest of the year. Coca-Cola said it plans to pause advertising on all social media platforms for at least 30 days while it revisits its advertising policies.
“We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners,” reads a statement from James Quincey, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola.
Patagonia, REI, Mozilla and Upwork and about 100 smaller companies have said they are committed to the advertising boycott.
Facebook’s policies surrounding divisive posts have been scrutinized after the platform left published a post from President Donald Trump following protests over the death of George Floyd. In the post, Trump said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Zuckerberg has defended leaving the post untouched, saying Facebook should allow for as much free expression as possible. A similar post published to Twitter carried a warning the tweet was “glorifying violence.”
“I’m optimistic that we can make progress on public health and racial justice while maintaining our democratic traditions around free expression and voting,” wrote Zuckerberg Friday. “I’m committed to making sure Facebook is a force for good on this journey.”