A man passes the shelves of Coca-Cola bottles and cans at a shopping center in Lagos, Nigeria, November 5, 2019.
Temilade Adelaja | Reuters
Coca-Cola announced on Friday that it will stop paid advertising on all social media platforms worldwide for at least 30 days.
The company said it would not join the official boycott, but said that “we are pausing” advertising.
In the week since a group of organizations asked Facebook advertisers to pause their ad spending during the month of July, more than 90 vendors, including Verizon, Patagonia, REI, Lending Club, and The North Face, have announced their intention to join, according to an updated list of Sleeping Giants. The group of organizations includes the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.
“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” Coca-Cola CEO and President James Quincey said in a statement. “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 reevaluate our advertising policies to determine if revisions are needed. We also expect increased accountability and transparency of our partner social networks. “
The beverage giant has been posting quotes about diversity and an end to systemic racism on its Twitter account, including support for NASCAR’s only black driver, Bubba Wallace.
The Coca-Cola announcement comes after Unilever, whose brands include Dove, Ben & Jerry’s and Hellmann’s, said Friday that it will suspend advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the United States until at least December 31.
Unilever joined brands like Eddie Bauer, The North Face and Patagonia as part of a campaign forcing the social media network to more closely monitor hate speech and disinformation through a series of actions, including creating a ” separate moderation pipeline “for users who say they have been attacked because of their race or religion, or to allow advertisers to see how often their ads appeared near content that was later removed for misinformation or hate, and allowed refunds for those ads.
Procter & Gamble, another big Facebook spender, said earlier this week that it is reviewing all of the media channels, networks, platforms and shows it advertises on “to ensure that content and comments are accurate and respectful to all people, and that we are not advertising or close to content that we determine is hateful, discriminatory, demeaning, or derogatory. “
“As part of that, we are working with companies and media platforms to take appropriate systemic action where necessary,” said P&G brand director Marc Pritchard. The company, contacted for comment, declined to comment specifically on Facebook.
During a live Facebook feed, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he intends to discuss “new policies to connect people to authoritative information about voting, crack down on voter suppression and fight hate speech ” It did not directly target advertiser boycotts.
In a recent note to advertisers obtained by CNBC, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson said that “boycotting overall is not the way to move forward together.”
“I also really hope you know now that we are not making any policy changes related to the pressure of earnings,” he said in the memo. “We establish our policies based on principles rather than commercial interests.”
Stay tuned for updates on this breaking news.