Advertisers pull away from social media

The Financial Times is reporting that almost a third of the world’s biggest brands are likely to suspend spending on social media in light of the companies’ lax attitude to controlling hate speech.

According to the World Federation of Advertisers, an additional 41 per cent of respondents were still undecided about whether to pause campaigns following high profile withdrawals from Ben & Jerry’s, Ford, Coca-Cola and Starbucks.

Commenting on the growing pressure on Facebook and others to take action against hate speech and misinformation on the platform, Stephan Loerke, CEO of WFA, said: “Advertisers and their agencies are extremely concerned by the proliferation of illegal and harmful content on social media platforms. We believe that much more needs to be done to reduce the amount of harmful and divisive content on social media platforms, and we are focused on solutions that ensure that bad actors have as little access to advertiser funding as possible.”

Loerke called for more transparency and clarity around platforms’ content policies, more consistency and an evolution of dialogue with external stakeholders to ensure policies are fair and fit for purpose in ever-changing and volatile political contexts.

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