50 Major Companies Boycotting Facebook
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The upheaval that rocked America in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests has the country taking a long hard look at the way systemic racism affects every aspect of society.
It’s an important chance to reassess what elements of society might be contributing to the problem of racism in America. Companies and individuals alike have begun taking small but important actions to further the cause: from white voice actors dropping out of roles voicing characters of color to companies permanently ending brands with a racist past like Aunt Jemima.
All of this appears to also have redirected public anger towards the largest social media company in the world — particularly after Facebook notably refused to take down certain posts by President Trump.
Now, the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP have been joined by many other organizations in starting the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which is calling on companies to pull any and all advertising from Facebook and Instagram. The campaign’s goal: to force the social media giant into making some major, substantive changes to its policies surrounding misinformation and the removal of hate speech.
The Stop Hate for Profit campaign has rapidly picked up speed over the last week, with more and more brands choosing to either pause or suspend their spending on Facebook or Instagram.
Just which companies, you ask? Here’s a look at 50 of the most prominent ones that are choosing to boycott Facebook for the time being.
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Adidas and Reebok
Adidas is in damage control mode with regards to its image in the Black community at precisely the wrong time. The German shoemaker’s director of human resources recently resigned as employees protested the company’s failure to address concerns over diversity and hiring practices. As such, it should come as no big surprise that the company and its Reebok subsidiary have announced they would suspend all advertising on Facebook through the end of July.
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Outdoor wear maker Arc’teryx announced via Twitter that it would be suspending its use of advertising on the social media giant. The post cited the #stophateforprofit campaign and said that it would remain off of Facebook until “at least the end of July” and instead route that money towards building “more inclusive outdoors.”
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Liquor company Beam Suntory has put a halt to its social media advertising for the month of July in support of the campaign and its Black employees.
“As a tangible next step, we’re committed to financially supporting the important work of leading social justice organizations,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing more about further actions in the coming days and weeks.”
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Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry’s has long been known for its hippy image and commitment to liberal values, and it appears to be keeping that tradition in mind. The popular ice cream manufacturer announced it would be suspending all advertising on Facebook as of July 1.
“Ben & Jerry’s stands with our friends at the NAACP and Color of Change, the ADL and all those calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence and undermine our democracy,” the company said in a statement posted on its website.
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Best Buy has only committed to suspending Facebook and Instagram advertising for the month of July at this point, but they have also left the door open to extending that. One Best Buy spokesperson speaking to Fox Business stated that the company supported the movement being driven by groups like the NAACP and ADL.
Birchbox, a beauty product subscription service, announced on Instagram that it would cease advertising on that platform and Facebook for July. It plans to move that portion of its advertising budget to individual content creators.
“We want Facebook to acknowledge this demand for change and to commit to making the necessary changes suggested on StopHateForProfit.org,” the company said in the post.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle — a high-end coffee roaster with a subscription service — has also announced it would be joining the boycott of Facebook and Instagram in July.
“Because of our commitment to care, we’re compelled to join the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, and as a result, during the month of July, Blue Bottle Coffee will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram,” the company wrote on its website.
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Blue Shield of California
Nonprofit health insurer Blue Shield of California announced via its website that it would shift the money otherwise earmarked for ads on Facebook and Instagram to a nonprofit focused on social justice. A statement to employees said that the company remained committed to using its voice and influence to act for change.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle Mexican Grill has added its name to the list of companies that are taking a major step in support of social justice. The company paused all Facebook advertising as of July 1.
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Yogurt brand Chobani announced its plans to suspend all paid social advertising on its Twitter account on June 29. The company said it has “always stood against hate & bigotry and it is our duty to help change these platforms.”
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“As a people-centered company committed to our values, we feel compelled to take action against hate speech, which we believe will increase through the balance of the year,” Clorox said in a company statement posted on its website. For the rest of 2020, the company plans to maintain its expected marketing spend but shift to other options.
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Coca-Cola chairman and CEO James Quincey posted a statement on the company website on June 26 expressing solidarity with the boycott and committing to a 30-day stay of any social media advertising.
“We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed,” he said. “We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”
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Another company that has announced plans to interrupt its marketing spend on social media is toiletries conglomerate Colgate-Palmolive and its large portfolio of brands.
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While Conagra claims that the Mrs. Butterworth’s mascot was only ever intended to depict a loving grandmother, it has also acknowledged that the brand has nonetheless been grouped in with others that have a clearer racist history, like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s. The company has announced plans to reconsider the brand and potentially make changes as well as boycotting Facebook.
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The combination pharmacist/insurer/convenience store CVS Health also put its name among those joining the boycott of Facebook and Instagram. The company plans to suspend those ad buys for “at least” 30 days.
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The popular restaurant chain Denny’s announced that its boycott would begin on July 1, adding its name to many others in the food service industry.
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One of the world’s largest liquor conglomerates, Diageo’s brand portfolio includes Crown Royal, Guinness, Johnny Walker and Smirnoff. The company announced on Twitter it would pause all advertising on major social media platforms starting July 1.
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Dunkin’ Brands is temporarily pausing all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram. What’s more, the popular donut maker has stated it is in discussions with Facebook about meaningful changes that the social media giant could make.
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Outdoor and leisure wear brand Eddie Bauer made its announcement via Twitter, stating on June 23 that it would be immediately suspending all ad buys on Facebook and Instagram through the end of July.
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“We believe in collective action,” said clothing designer Eileen Fisher on Twitter. “That’s why we’ll be joining Stop Hate for Profit, a campaign asking Facebook to take accountability…”
The company is reacting by removing all advertising from the platform for the month of July.
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Legendary automaker Ford Motor Company announced that it would pause all social media advertising for a period of 30 days as part of an effort to reevaluate its social media efforts across all platforms. The company also called for all forms of racism to be eradicated.
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Chocolatier Hershey announced it would join the boycott. In a blog post on the company website, it stated: “To our Black employees, and all people of color in our communities, we proudly say: we support you, we believe in you and we stand in solidarity with you.” The company joined the boycott soon after a Mark Zuckerberg livestream that many saw as trying to compromise.
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Japanese automaker Honda announced that it would suspend its advertising on Facebook and Instagram, making it the first car manufacturer to add its name to the list.
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The storied Silicon Valley brand HP announced it would be pulling ads from Facebook and Instagram via a succinct post on its website.
“HP is a purpose-driven brand and we expect all platforms on which we advertise to uphold responsible policies that prevent our ads from appearing alongside objectionable content, regardless of the source,” it said in the post. “We have expressed deep concerns to Facebook and are stopping U.S. advertising on the platform until we see more robust safeguards in place.”
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Intercontinental Hotels Group
Hotel chain InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) was among the hospitality services that joined its name to the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. The company also posted a statement on its site noting its home city of Atlanta’s connection to civil rights history.
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“Count us out @Facebook,” said JanSport in a Twitter post. “We stand with the @NAACP & @ADL to #StopHateforProfit.” The clothing company revealed it would suspend all Facebook advertising for July. It also called for stricter policies at the social media company for restricting hateful content.
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Lego announced it would review the standards it applies to its advertising campaigns and put a 30-day pause on any spending on social media platforms. “We will work to collaborate with our partners and take whatever steps are necessary to create a more trusted digital world for people today and future generations,” said chief marketing officer Julia Goldin in a statement on the company’s website. “We are confident solutions exist but urgent action is needed.”
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Levi Strauss & Company
“As a company driven by our values, we at Levi Strauss & Co. have a responsibility to speak up and take action when we see major issues arise that impact our employees, fans and community at large,” said Levi Strauss CMO Jen Sey in a statement on the company’s website. This classic American brand has committed to suspending its ad spend at least through the end of July.
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Athleisure wear brand Lululemon posted on Twitter that it would be pausing its social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram as part of a way to influence changes within those companies.
“We believe we all have a responsibility to create a truly inclusive society and are actively engaging with @Facebook to seek meaningful change,” the company said.
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Women’s wear company Madewell also revealed on Twitter that it would be pausing its spending on Facebook and Instagram advertising.
“We won’t allow hate speech and misinformation to be spread across these platforms,” the company said.
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Film production company Magnolia Pictures announced that its boycott would run through at least the end of July in solidarity with Stop Hate for Profit.
“We are seeking meaningful change at Facebook and the end to their amplification of hate speech,” the company posted on Twitter.
Insurer MassMutual announced that it would be joining the campaign via Twitter, suspending ad buys on Facebook and Instagram for July.
“We strongly believe that joining this campaign is the right thing to do, and anything less would be inconsistent with our values and purpose as a company,” said head of marketing and brand strategy Jennifer Halloran in a statement.
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Per Axios, Microsoft had already suspended its Facebook and Instagram spending in the U.S. in May before expanding that block to the rest of the globe. The software company apparently had complaints about its ads appearing next to objectionable content.
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Outdoor wear brand Patagonia posted to Twitter that it was proud to join the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.
“We will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from the social media giant,” the company said.
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Funding platform Patreon announced that it would be removing all advertising from Facebook and Instagram as of June 29, without announcing a specific plan for returning to them.
“At Patreon, we believe in building safe communities for creators and their fans, which means we do not tolerate hate speech of any kind,” the company posted on Twitter.
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PepsiCo took its reputed $2.6 billion annual ad budget and decided to look elsewhere for the time being, While there hasn’t been a public announcement, Fox News reports that it’s expected to run through the end of August at least.
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Pernod Ricard SA
In a lengthy press release, massive liquor conglomerate Pernod Ricard announced it would create a crowdsourcing app to give its customers a chance to report objectionable content directly to brands and companies within its portfolio. The CEO also stated that the company would be suspending all advertising on social media platforms until Aug. 1.
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Pfizer is one of the nation’s biggest pharmaceutical makers and its decision to suspend ad spending was one of the big accounts that the New York Times cited as getting Facebook to sit up and take notice of the boycott’s gathering momentum.
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Puma announced on Twitter that it would be suspending all Facebook and Instagram advertising for July in solidarity with the campaign.
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The North Face
Outdoor wear company The North Face announced its decision to pull advertising from Facebook in a terse but effective post on Twitter. “We’re in. We’re out @Facebook #StopHateforProfit,” the company said.
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Outdoor gear retailer REI was also one of the prominent brands to declare a boycott of Facebook. “For 82 years, we have put people over profits,” the company posted on Twitter. “We’re pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July.”
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Boston Beer Company — maker of Samuel Adams — announced it is joining the boycott. “Boston Beer is standing in solidarity with our partners at the NAACP and other advertisers, and have joined the #StopHateForProfit movement,” said CMO Lesya Lysyj in a statement posted on the company’s website. “This means that we have suspended all paid media support on Facebook and Instagram for July, across all of our brands.”
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Starbucks might still be working through some baggage of its own. The 2018 incident involving one Philadelphia location that threw out two Black customers without cause remains fresh in the mind of many consumers. For now, though, Starbucks has proclaimed a firm stance against hate speech and has paused all social media advertising.
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Target has been making a number of changes as part of its effort to address racism and invest in its team members. In addition to joining the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, the company announced a new $15 minimum wage for starting employees.
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“Upwork is hitting pause on hate with no Facebook advertising in July,” wrote the troubled office space provider on its Twitter feed. While the company has been rocked by scandal, it’s still working hard to project a positive, inclusive image.
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Unilever proclaimed its long-term commitment to social justice in a statement posted to the company site. The company announced it would halt brand advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the remainder of 2020. “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 company wrote.
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Popular shoe brand Vans announced via Twitter that it would be joining the campaign and pulling advertising from Facebook and Instagram. The company will boycott throughout July and instead invest that money into empowerment and education programs.
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When it announced the news on Thursday, Verizon represented the largest advertiser to pull its ads from Facebook and Instagram. The company announced the boycott without setting an end date.
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“We stand by the organizations that are participating in the #StopHateForProfit campaign,” Vertex said in a Twitter post. “To encourage Facebook, Inc. to take real action against the spread of hate and misinformation on their platforms, we will be pausing all ads on Facebook and Instagram.” Vertex joins the growing list of companies that have pulled ads from Facebook without committing to any sort of return.
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Volkswagen and its $13.7 million estimated ad spend in 2019 has promised to pull its commercials from Facebook and Instagram as part of the campaign. It committed to a boycott for the month of July on Tuesday.
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How You Can Help
With so many major brands joining the fight, Facebook might be forced into taking a more ardent stance on the proliferation of hate speech on its platform. If you’re interested in becoming a part of the process, visit the Stop Hate for Profit campaign website to read more. There is also a complete list of companies that have joined the fight, so you can put your own dollars to work with brands committed to change.
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