Clorox and HP join boycott, Facebook agrees to hate audit and Reddit bans Trump forum: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.
The Facebook ad boycott keeps expanding. On Monday, more brands joined the movement, including The Clorox Co., Ford, HP and Adidas. HP just happens to be the company that was once home to Facebook Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio, who was brought in last year to mend Facebook's image.
More major advertisers are now part of "Stop Hate for Profit," a protest organized by the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, Sleeping Giants and others. They are calling on advertisers to stop spending on Facebook and its affiliated ad platforms for the month of July.
The groups demand the social network get a handle on hate speech.
Ad Age's Jack Neff and E.J. Schultz report: "Clorox—whose products include its namesake brand plus Burt’s Bees, Brita, Pine-Sol, Glad, Liquid-Plumr, Fresh Step, Scoop Away, Kingsford and Hidden Valley Ranch—joined the Facebook boycott through December, citing a need to 'take action against hate speech, which we believe will increase through the balance of the year,' according to a statement. The company added that hate speech on Facebook platforms ‘creates an increasingly unhealthy environment for people and our purpose-driven brands.'"
Facebook responded to the civil rights groups by amending its policies and providing one key concession on Monday, promising it would allow the Media Rating Council to audit its record on hate speech, which it has defended strenuously. Facebook says it captures 89 percent of hate speech before it even goes public on the social network. The MRC could help prove its effectiveness, reports Ad Age's Garett Sloane.
Facebook executives, including Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions, are expected to talk with dozens of advertisers on Tuesday to update them on the progress, and potentially lower their enthusiasm for the July boycott. Women's Wear Daily reports that Facebook's head of global policy, Joel Kaplan, was not set to join the call with brands, sparking speculation that he could be on the outs at the company.
Kaplan has been a lightning rod in the political confrontations swirling around Facebook, because he is seen as an ally of conservatives in Washington, D.C. Facebook's critics say it is too cozy with the Trump administration, and think that relationship influences the social network's policies.
On Monday, Reddit showed it was tackling hate speech and disinformation by banning approximately 2,000 communities, including "The_Donald," a subreddit devoted to President Donald Trump. Like other internet platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Reddit has faced criticism for allowing hateful messages to spread online.
Reddit wiped out communities it said abused its rules. The_Donald was one of the most popular places for the president's online supporters to organize.
YouTube started delivering bans, too. The Google-owned video service on Monday said it kicked off channels run by far-right personalities, including Stefan Molyneux, Richard Spencer and David Duke.
“After updating our guidelines [in 2019] to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies," YouTube tells The Verge.
As brands join the Facebook boycott, some have also expanded their ad freeze to include YouTube, because of the type of content that has circulated there. Duke, for instance, is an infamous former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and notorious voice of the modern-day far right.
Ad Age's Neff looks at the culture of activism that is affecting all companies, as employees speak freely about the issues that matter most to them. Brands must learn how to nurture the workers who are demanding more accountability.
Marketers should welcome employee activism, says Jim Stengel, marketing consultant and former chief marketer at Procter & Gamble Co., which has long advocated purpose-driven marketing. “What are we afraid of?” he asks.
Neff gives tips on how brands can navigate this sensitive climate where employees are taking a stand.
On Monday, Ad Age senior editor Jeanine Poggi convened a panel of media experts to discuss the state of the TV upfront economy. Members of the Association of National Advertisers joined the marketing roundtable and looked at the way TV networks and advertisers were coming to new terms.
The talk focused on "how the TV industry can modernize its model and standardize practices so that they can be adapted on a global scale. We also explored what it will take to accelerate progress in other areas, including metrics, transparency and eliminating bias," Poggi says.
Google shopping: Google makes changes to its search results that will include more e-commerce functionality for brands to display their products, reports Ad Age's George P. Slefo.
Retail Next: Ad Age gets ready for its biggest retail event of the summer, which is set to stream online July 8, with a day of shop talk led by senior retail reporter Adrianne Pasquarelli.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here.