The opposite of love— #StopHateForProfit Facebook boycott
Over 400 brands across the globe including Coca-Cola, Unilever, adidas, and Ford have pulled their ad spend and joined the #StopHateForProfit Boycott of Facebook advertising, organized by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
#StopHateForProfit was organized in response to Facebook’s lackluster content moderation policies and handling of hate speech in wake of the George Floyd murder and the #BlackLivesMatter protests that have ensued since. Stop Hate for Profit has called out Facebook for a number of missteps including allowing media to incite violence against protesters, naming media such a Breitbart as “trusted” sources, and turning a blind eye toward voter suppression. More and more brands are joining the cause in hopes that pulling their advertising dollars will dent Facebook’s $70 billion in annual revenue, most of which comes from its advertising business, and force the company into real change. The organization is demanding accountability, decency, and support regarding hate speech and disinformation on the platform. They have even outlined some very tangible next steps Facebook should take to address these issues. Those include establishing permanent civil rights infrastructure at the C-Suite level, submitting to regular third-party audits of identity-based hate and disinformation, and the removal of private groups focused on white supremacy, militia, antisemitism, violent conspiracies, Holocaust denialism, vaccine misinformation, and climate denialism which, in some cases, contain thousands of members.
As marketers, many of us have spent the week asking ourselves: should my brand join the cause? Will my tiny Facebook ad budget really make a difference? What about my product launch? Will my audience even care? Before you try to sort through these, we suggest you start with one simple question: What should my brand stand for?
We live in a marketing landscape where it’s imperative to have tangible brand values that help guide tough decisions. Consumers expect brands to take a stand, have an opinion, and more so than ever, put more good out into the world. According to a 2019 Gartner study on consumer values, 69% of consumers said they hold brands to the same standards as they do themselves. So we will ask again, what should your brand stand for? How will you choose to let your values guide you? Will you have the courage to act out of love and not fear?
Because after all, the opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy.
You can find the list of over 400 companies that have joined #StopHateForProfit HERE.