Unilever: Facebook boycot to continue until independent supervision is in place
Unilever will continue its advertising boycott on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram until the social media platforms are placed under the supervision of an independent party. This party must check that the platforms are doing enough to fight hate speech and misinformation, Unilever CMO Conny Braams said to Financieele Dagblad.
"I want to believe Facebook when they say that they delete 90 percent of the hateful posts. But the butcher cannot judge its own meat. There must be supervision, an independent party that measures whether Facebook and Twitter do what they say," Braams said to the newspaper. "We also want commitments on that."
Unilever is one of many brands that stopped advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the United States. According to Braams, it was an accumulation of events that led Unilever to join this boycott, ranging from Black Lives Matter and racism, to Trump's polarization and the misinformation spreading like a tsunami on social media. "Two billion people worldwide use our products every day. We use our reach for improvement." Unilever will only return to the social media platforms once they do they same, "because they have that power", she said.
Braams agreed that the decision to boycott social media platforms was also marketing-driven. "Certainly in a country lie the US, 80 percent of consumers expect brands to get involved in the social debate and to contribute to a solution to world problems," she said. According to her, consumers responded "predominantly positively" to Unilever joining the boycott.