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Business

Facebook: Sir Martin Sorrell says some firms ‘virtue signalling’ over advertising boycott

Sir Martin Sorrell has accused some companies of “virtue signalling” as Facebook faces a growing advertising boycott over concerns that it is not doing enough to tackle hate speech.

The marketing industry boss – who led advertising giant WPP before founding latest venture S4 Capital – told Sky News he was not advising clients to withdraw their business from the platform.

His remarks came after Starbucks became the latest household name to suspend its adverts on Facebook, following the likes of Unilever and Coca-Cola.

The tech giant has come under fire over its perceived lack of action on hate speech – notably by keeping up a post by Donald Trump in which the US president said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” during early protests over the death of George Floyd.

The same post was hidden by Twitter, which said it had violated its “rules about glorifying violence”.

Sir Martin said Facebook had made “strenuous efforts” to tackle hate speech – including new plans announced last week.

He told Sky’s Ian King Live: “I think they will be doing more to try and deal with it because clearly advertisers – quite rightly – are concerned about this, because consumers are concerned about it.

“It is true there is some virtue signalling going on here – some righteous, or unrighteous, indignation.

“Some of the companies are just responding because they think it is virtuous to do that. But at its heart most of them I think are taking genuine steps to try and change the environment.”

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World News

List of advertisers that are boycotting social media, including Facebook, over hateful content

(BLOOMBERG) – Some companies have joined a boycott of Facebook after critics accused the social network of inadequately policing hateful and misleading content on its platform.

Here’s a list of companies that are planning to halt spending on social media.

STARBUCKS CORP

Pausing advertising on all social media platforms. Will post on social media without paid promotion.

MICROSOFT CORP

Paused global advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram because of concerns about ads appearing next to inappropriate content, according to a person familiar with the matter.

UNILEVER PLC

Halting advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the US through Dec 31.

COCA-COLA CO

Pausing advertising on all social media platforms.

CLOROX CO

Will stop advertising spending with Facebook through December.

CONAGRA BRANDS INC

Will stop advertising in US on Facebook and Instagram through the rest of the year.

FORD MOTOR CO

Halting US social media for 30 days, won’t purchase social media ads for Bronco unveiling.

HONDA MOTOR CO

For the month of July, American Honda will withhold advertising on Facebook and Instagram, according to Adweek.

HERSHEY CO

Will halt spending on Facebook in July and cut its spend on the platform by a third for the remainder of the year, according to Business Insider.

DIAGEO PLC

Pausing paid advertising globally on major social media platforms beginning in July.

PEPSICO INC

Pulling ads on Facebook from July through August.

VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC

“We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with we’ve done with YouTube and other partners,” said John Nitti, chief media officer for Verizon.

LEVI STRAUSS & CO

Pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising globally and across all brands through July.

DIAMOND FOUNDRY INC

Pulling all of advertising from Facebook, including Instagram, for the month of July.

PATAGONIA INC

Will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from Facebook.

VIBER MEDIA INC

Plans to cut ties with the social network entirely, according to the Guardian.

VF CORP’S THE NORTH FACE

Will pause ads on Facebook for the month of July.

REI

“For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We’re pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July.”

UPWORK INC

No Facebook advertising in July.

EILEEN FISHER INC

Pulling ads from Facebook through July.

ADIDAS AG

Will stop ads on Facebook and Instagram internationally through July, according to Adweek.

MADEWELL INC

Will pause ads on Facebook and Instagram through July.

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