Booze marketer Pernod Ricard plans app to identify social media hate speech
Liquor marketer Pernod Ricard’s U.S. division today confirmed it will pause all social media spending for the next 30 days. But the company—whose brands include Absolut Vodka and Jameson Irish Whiskey—says it is taking its boycott further by creating an app that consumers can use to identify hate speech on social media.
The app will allow users to flag objectionable content directly to brands and companies, and then “brands can then leverage their influence to help ensure social media platforms take appropriate action,” according to a press release. A spokeswoman described the app as “a work in progress” that is “in development with a technology company.” She declined to name the vendor but said “Pernod is hoping to launch as soon as possible, aiming for mid-summer.”
Pernod Ricard USA CEO Ann Mukherjee said in a statement, “Movements like #StopHateForProfit are demonstrating that brands and consumers want them to take more urgent action. This is important, and it is why we are joining the movement for the next 30 days across all paid social media platforms, not just Facebook.”
“But this is not sufficient,” Mukherjee added. “The big question is: What happens August 1? We need more action and more people within the industry to find more solutions. Companies like ours can and should play a bigger role in problem-solving than just withholding advertising dollars. We can create tools that make it easier for consumers’ voices to be heard when they see hate speech spreading online. And that’s what we are doing.”
Pernod in its press release credited new North American Chief Marketing Officer Pam Forbus with recognizing the opportunity for the app when she arrived at the company less than two weeks ago. “We know our consumers feel a sense of urgency about this issue, and so do we. Launching this initiative will allow us to work directly with our consumers, each playing a small role in solving a big problem,” Forbus stated.
Forbus joined Pernod after serving as senior VP for consumer experience, insights, data strategy, analytics and planning, at Walt Disney Studio Entertainment.
Pernod’s U.S. media agency is Dentsu-owned 360i. The agency took an early role in helping to spread the Facebook ad boycott by urging clients to participate back in mid-June. The movement, organized by civil rights groups, has since gained major momentum with dozens of major advertisers jumping in.