(Reuters) – Unilever PLC said on Friday it will stop advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the United States for the rest of the year, citing “divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S.”
The consumer goods company, which owns brands like Dove Soap and Lipton tea, joins a growing advertising boycott against Facebook as part of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign started by U.S. civil rights groups after the death of George Floyd. The effort called on Facebook, which owns Instagram, to do more to stop hate speech and misinformation.
Shares of Facebook and Twitter both fell more than 7%.
“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,” Unilever said in a statement.
“The Stop Hate for Profit” campaign focused on giving specific recommendations to Facebook, though Twitter has also long been under pressure to clean up abuses and misinformation on its platform.
“We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from under-represented communities and marginalized groups,” said Twitter VP, Global Client Solutions Sarah Personette.
“We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time.”
Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Monday, Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group said: “We deeply respect any brand’s decision, and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information.
“Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good,” she said, after outdoor apparel brand Patagonia Inc paused its ads.
Reporting by Sheila Dang and Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis