Although PepsiCo has not publicly backed the campaign, sources inside the company told Fox Business it had launched a ‘global boycott’ for July and August.
Other major food and beverage concerns among the approximately 160 companies to announce they will stop buying ad space on the social media platform for the month of July include Coca-Cola, Unilever, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s, The Hershey Company and Diageo.
Stop Hate for Profit – launched by Free Press and Common Sense, along with US civil rights groups Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League following the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, which sparked global protest – is pushing for hate speech to be removed from the site. It has even gained the private backing of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
According to the organisers, the campaign aims to ensure the social network implements stricter measures to combat alleged ‘hateful and racist’ content on its platforms.
Annually, Facebook generates around $70bn in advertising sales, with a quarter of the income coming from ad spend by the majors like PepsiCo and Unilever, according to Reuters.
However, the publicity around the world’s largest social media platform’s hate speech policies have hurt its perception and stock. Facebook’s market value dropped by roughly $60bn in two days.
The organisers are now pushing for the boycott to include other digital advertising platforms such as Twitter.
Stop Hate for Profit is calling on social networks to introduce a moderation process to help users who are targeted by race and other identifiers, and to provide more transparency regarding how many incidents of hate speech are reported by users.