Some of the world's biggest brands have boycotted social media platforms to encourage positive change in the way divisive content is handled.
According to the World Federation of Advertisers, a trade body that covers 90% of the world’s advertising spending, almost one third of the world’s biggest brands will temporarily suspend spending on social media or are considering doing so, in response to how platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter handle racial intolerance and hate speech.
The boycott marks a shift in the advertising industry and reflects the concerns of consumers and social media users.
The poll covered 58 WFA members responsible for more than $90bn of ad spending worldwide, and include big-name advertisers like Unilever, Verizon, Adidas, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Ford and HP, among countless other SMEs, who have all paused spending on their social media spending in order to encourage positive change in the industry.
The boycott marks a shift in the advertising industry and reflects the concerns of consumers and social media users. Brands are demanding fundamental changes from social media platforms and more control over where their advertising is placed.
This temporary, one-month boycott is a powerful message that is hoped to have a significant effect on the paid media industry, in the long terms. Platforms such as Facebook have already committed to reviewing how well they protect brands from being placed alongside harmful content, and others are expected to follow suit.
This poll from the WFA has shown that companies and consumers are no longer willing to tolerate a reactive approach to the placement of ads.
As one the largest and most powerful marketing tools there is, social media is going to remain an integral part of any brand’s marketing strategy. But this poll from the WFA has shown that companies and consumers are no longer willing to tolerate a reactive approach to the placement of ads. The survey signals an important change in attitude towards a proactive and intentional approach to social media marketing.
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