From Unilever to Starbucks -Facebook lose brands trust despite changing policy

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Updated: Jun 30, 2020 10:10 AM

As part of #StopHateForProfit campaign, brands have pulled the plug on advertising on social media

#StopHateForProfit campaign against FacebookSuch a collective move by brands — is being considered unique — as there has been a rise in demand for the carrier of messages to behave responsibly.

As more and more advertisers join the #StopHateForProfit campaign – the move is expected to cause huge revenue loss to social media giant, Facebook. Post Unilever’s announcement on Friday to withdraw advertisements from all Facebook-owned platforms besides Verizon Communication and several other brands, Starbucks too has joined the chorus. According to marketing analytics firm Pathmatics, Unilever which has brands including Dove, Axe and Vaseline, has spent over $11.8 million in the US this year just on Facebook. In order to save its dwindling fortune, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will highlight and label posts by authority, officials or politicians which take its policies lightly — the platform, however, will not remove these posts.

Such a collective move by brands — is being considered unique — as there has been a rise in demand for the carrier of messages to behave responsibly. This also shows that brands have begun to take their consumers a lot more seriously. “Brands are keen to socially and politically correct and thereby want their carriers to be clean of social and political angst. This is a statement made by brands asking for policy revival when it comes to social mediums which are typically considered to be uncurated mediums,” Harish Bijoor, brand strategy specialist and founder of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, told BrandWagon Online.

In 2019, Facebook reported $70.7 billion in revenue, out of this advertising revenue accounted for nearly 98%. The company has already felt the tremors from the brand’s decision as it’s stock tumbled down 8.3% on Friday, resulting in loss of nearly $7.2 billion. However, despite the changes announced by Zuckerberg, Japanese car brand Honda, chocolate brand Hershey’s along with Coca-Cola joined the bandwagon and boycotted Facebook. As per Lloyd Mathias, business strategist, it remains to be seen if some of these corporations revisit their decision. For Upasna Dash, CEO and founder, Jajabor Brand Consultancy, brands and platforms need to stand up for the right cause. “Consumers today care about the consciousness and stand of the brand more now than ever before. Keeping this in mind, every brand or platform needs to stand up for the right cause and lend to its consciousness,” she added.

In the last few years brands have become conscious about not only the kind of message being driven to consumers, but have also made a collective effort to promote causes. Case in point is a clutch of FMCG brands including Johnson & Johnson, Hindustan Unilever’s decision to drop the word ‘Fair’ from its skin lightening products. The movement, while is yet to reach India – can adversely impact Facebook, if it does anytime in the future. “India is Facebook’s biggest market in terms of users with nearly 350 million, so any spread of the boycott here is bound to impact the social media platform,” Mathias added.

Read Also: Unilever to stop advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the rest of the year

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