Patagonia joins the growing list of companies boycotting Facebook ads

Patagonia has joined companies like REI and The North Face, saying it plans to stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram to show its support for a movement called “#StopHateForProfit”.

Last week, a group of six organizations asked Facebook advertisers to pause their spending on the social media platform during the month of July. The groups, the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense, called on “big Facebook advertisers to demonstrate that they will not support a company that puts profits above security.”

The groups said this was in response to “Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to spread across its platform,” adding that the company allowed its platform to be used in “widespread suppression efforts. of voters, using targeted disinformation directed at black voters “and” allowed incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in the United States in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and many others “, among other claims.

In a series of tweets attributed to the company’s chief marketing officer, Cory Bayers, Patagonia said it would “withdraw all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, at least until the end of July, pending significant action from the giant. from social media. ”

“For too long, Facebook has not taken sufficient steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform,” the statement read in part. “From secure elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, there is much at stake to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fostering fear and hatred.”

Patagonia has a history of being vocal in the political sphere. The company sued President Donald Trump a few years ago after revoking protections on national monuments.

It comes after outdoor recreation retailer The North Face announced its intention to take the call on Friday.

“We are pausing all paid national advertising with Facebook and Instagram until the end of July in an effort to support the implementation of stricter policies to prevent racist, violent or hateful content and misinformation from specifically circulating on the Facebook platform,” A spokeswoman for The North Face said in an emailed statement. “We hope they will reconsider their policies and reevaluate our position in the next thirty days.”

Later on Friday, outdoor clothing and recreation retailer REI said it was removing all Facebook and Instagram advertising for the month of July.

Upwork, an independent platform, said in a tweet that it was also pausing its Facebook advertising in July. In an emailed statement, the company said it was pausing advertising on both Facebook and Instagram. “We cannot wait and be complicit or complacent about the spread of hate, racism and misinformation, and that is why we are supporting the Stop Hate for Profit advocacy campaign, which calls to stop advertising on all Facebook platforms. in July.”

On Monday, the CMO of password management company Dashlane, Joy Howard, said in a blog post that the company would also suspend all paid and organic posts on Facebook and Instagram until July “at least.”

“Getting away from this, even for a month, will be difficult for many of us. In the relentless pursuit of scale, most startups rely on performance marketing, falling into the never-ending cycle of ‘spending on scale while CPAs are maintained ‘”he writes in a blog post. “This leads to a world where 40 cents of every venture capital dollar goes to Facebook, Amazon or Google. It is clear that our industry’s collective addiction to performance marketing has resulted at the expense of much more than just R&D. D or product market adjustment, and ask for a course correction. ”

Facebook reported in January that it has more than 8 million active advertisers on its platform, which in 2019 generated $ 69.7 billion in advertising revenue.

The pressure for big brands to pause advertising on Facebook doesn’t just come from outside groups. Some agencies have encouraged their clients to pause. Last week, the 360i advertising agency told customers in an email that it supports the July ad boycott, according to The Wall Street Journal. Elijah Harris, senior vice president of paid social media at IPG Mediabrands, part of the Interpublic Group, also shared a post on LinkedIn saying “it was time to hold Facebook’s leadership team accountable … Let’s use our collective strength to get them on track. ”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, also spoke. Last week, she implored advertisers to use her “tremendous influence” to pressure companies like Facebook to crack down on disinformation.

In response to the boycotts, Facebook shared a statement from the vice president of its global business group, Carolyn Everson.

“We deeply respect the decision of any brand, and remain focused on the important work of eliminating hate speech and providing critical voting information,” he wrote. “Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations discuss how together we can be a force for good.”

On Sunday, Facebook posted a blog post titled “Actions We Are Taking to Advance Racial Justice in Our Company and on Our Platform,” discussing what the company says it is doing to review its policies to “build a more platform. inclusive “. For example, the company says it is “reviewing possible options for handling violated or partially violated content, apart from binary decisions to leave or remove it.”