Marmite maker Unilever threatens to pull ads from Facebook and Google

Unilever Will Pull Funds from Social Media That 'Breed Division'

Unilever Will Pull Funds from Social Media That 'Breed Division'

Speaking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, California today, Unilever chief marketing officer Keith Weed is expected to say that "Unilever will not invest in platforms or environments that do not protect our children or which create division in society, and promote anger or hate".

He will add: "It is in the digital media industry's interest to listen and act on this. before viewers stop viewing, advertisers stop advertising and publishers stop publishing". It also represents a shift in tone for Weed, who in the past year largely has played the good cop to rival Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard's bad cop on digital accountability issues. The companies are estimated to have gobbled up more than 60% of digital ad spending in 2017. Pritchard said he has not been able to follow through on that threat, though P&G remains off YouTube as it is not fully satisfied with brand-safety improvements there.

In a statement issued ahead of his speech, Weed said: "As a brand-led business, Unilever needs its consumers to have trust in our brands". We can't do anything to damage that trust-including the choice of channels and platforms we use.

Social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, have come under increased scrutiny for their perceived reluctance to tackle "fake news" stories, which are often dressed up as fact.

MARKETING giant Unilever is threatening to pull adverts from Google and Facebook if they continue to promote hate and sow distrust.

Besides social division and child safety, the speech will cover Unilever's intention to "only partner with organizations which are committed to creating better digital infrastructure, such as aligning around one measurement system and improving the consumer experience".

Unilever, one of the world's largest advertisers, may stop buying advertising on social networks like Facebook or Google if these tech companies don't stop helping to spread hate speech and create divisions in society, according to a senior company executive.