Skip to main content

Unilever will pull ads from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the rest of the year

Unilever will pull ads from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the rest of the year

/

It’s the latest brand to do so

Share this story

In this photo illustration the Unilever logo seen displayed...
Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Consumer goods giant Unilever said Friday that it would halt all ad spending on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter through the end of the year, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Unilever owns dozens of popular household brands like Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Dove soap, and typically spends more than $1 billion each year promoting them through various ad channels.

As of press time, Facebook’s stock had fallen more than 7 percent in the wake of the news.

“We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies,” a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News. “We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”

Twitter’s VP of global client solutions, Sarah Personette, responded to Unilever’s decision saying, “We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and marginalized groups. We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time.”

Last week, organizations like the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, and Free Press launched a campaign to “Stop Hate for Profit,” urging advertisers to pull their spending on Facebook through the month of July as protests against police brutality and racism crop up across the country. Since then, over 90 companies have halted spending on the platform, including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Verizon.

Unilever said that it would maintain its planned advertising investment by shifting its spending to other media.

“The complexities of the current cultural landscape have placed a renewed responsibility on brands to learn, respond and act to drive a trusted and safe digital ecosystem,” Unilever said in a statement to The Verge. “Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will be monitoring ongoing and will revisit our current position if necessary.”

The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign launched following discussions organizations had with Facebook over its policies surrounding hate speech and misinformation. The groups took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times last Wednesday urging advertisers to participate in the boycott.

“Today, we are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July,” the ad said. “Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.”

Updated 6/26/20 at 1:43 PM ET: Included a statement from Facebook.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 60 minutes ago Not just you

T
Youtube
Thomas Ricker60 minutes ago
Table breaks before Apple Watch Ultra’s sapphire glass.

”It’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet,” said Apple at the launch of the Apple Watch Ultra (read The Verge review here). YouTuber TechRax put that claim to the test with a series of drop, scratch, and hammer tests. Takeaways: the titanium case will scratch with enough abuse, and that flat sapphire front crystal is tough — tougher than the table which cracks before the Ultra fails — but not indestructible.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.