Brands’ spending patterns on digital media have gone a little haywire in the first two weeks in July, partly due to the Facebook boycott, but some marketers are also spending less on Twitter, according to new data from Pathmatics, which tracks U.S. online ad spending. YouTube appears to be the beneficiary of a windfall of marketing dollars from some of the major brands like Geico, Hulu and Samsung moving money to its channel.
Some brands Pathmatics analyzed were not public proponents of the boycott, but their spending shifted away from Facebook, including McDonald's, Kraft Heinz, LinkedIn, Geico and Hulu, which is owned by The Walt Disney Co. Some brands, including McDonald's, pulled spending from Twitter, too.
In the first 10 days of July, Facebook’s top advertisers spent 19 percent less on the social network compared to the same period in 2019, according to Pathmatics. Meanwhile, the top advertisers on Twitter decreased spending by 9 percent compared to the same period in 2019. Pathmatics looked at the top 1,000 spenders on Facebook and Twitter, and compared their combined daily average spending on the platforms in the U.S.
“We see these trends as a representation of the effects of a tumultuous year characterized by economic and political uncertainty, an international pandemic, and an increase in the need for honesty and accountability from brands and advertisers,” says Sarah Fleishman, senior manager of digital marketing at Pathmatics. “We saw it first with brands changing their messaging to reflect COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests, and then again with the boycotts. There's no doubt brands will continue to spend on digital ads, the question just becomes where, and on what terms.”
Facebook and Twitter declined to comment for this story.
In July 2019, the top 1,000 advertisers spent a combined $28 million daily on average on Facebook. This July, they combined for $22.7 million. Facebook has more than 8 million advertisers, and generated $91.5 million in average daily ad revenue in North America in 2019. Facebook made $70 billion in ad revenue in 2019.