Oh dear. Things just got a lottle ugly out there for advertising platforms, as some very large Brands pull and pause their social media advertising spend. Facebook is getting the brunt of the attention over their lax approach to moderation by the Stop Hate for Profit initiative (their stock was down 8% this week).
Some of those brands include: Coca Cola, Unilever, Starbucks, Beam Suntory, Ben & Jerry’s, Verizon, Diageo, Ford, North Face, Honda, Dockers, Levis, Patagonia and many more.
Coca Cola’s official statement includes: “There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media. The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days. We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”
What I’m Most Interested In?
Of course there are multiple angles to what’s going on, and there’s lots to read and learn about in the process. Debating online censorship and the responsibility of these powerful advertising platforms is long overdue.
However, what I’m most interested in is what impact will this have on the sales of these Brands? Digital Advertising was one of those things that arrived and everyone jumped on board. The hype around the benefits of digital advertising is massive and there are entire industries that strongly support that message.
Well, we’re about to find out what the real impact of digital advertising is? In this case, what the impact of no digital advertising is? For some of these brands, their advertising boycott is only in the US, and for others it’s Global. Assuming they all stop for at least a month, there are going to be some really interesting numbers that emerge. There are also going to be some interesting stories of how these brands re-emerge?
I’m expecting the result will be that digital advertising is key to the revenue of these brands, but this is a rare opportunity to attempt to measure exactly how key it is?