Arts&Culture

Unilever will pull ads from Google, Facebook unless they stop 'creating division'

Unilever will pull ads from Google, Facebook unless they stop 'creating division'

"Fake news, racism, sexism, terrorists spreading messages of hate, toxic content directed at children ... it is in the digital media industry's interest to listen and act on this", Weed plans to say.

Unilever is not investing in environments or platforms that are not protecting children or that are creating division in our society, and promoting hate or anger, he is planning to say.

"We can not continue to prop up a digital supply chain ... which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency", Unilever marketing boss Keith Weed will say, according to a copy of his speech obtained by CNN.

Whether the company actually does pull any ads remains to be seen, but threats from Unilever won't be taken lightly.

Since then, publishers have begun to suggest Facebook and other outlets pay them a carriage fee to assure users the news they're receiving is accurate and trusted.

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Secondly, Unilever is committed to tackling gender stereotypes in advertising through #Unstereotype and championing this across the industry through #SeeHer and the #Unstereotype Alliance, he said. A 2016 report claimed that the consumer goods giant spent a quarter of its ad budget on digital platforms, committing about $2 billion in the process.

The three-second clip on the brand's Facebook page sparked an outcry on social media and was eventually removed by Dove, which issued an apology. And it comes after US lawmakers scolded Facebook for allowing the spread of misinformation, including an initiative from Russian operatives to influence the USA presidential election.

Digital platforms such as YouTube, owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, have come under increased pressure during the past year to police content considered extremist or inappropriate for minors. Last year Procter & Gamble (P&G) issued a similar warning before cutting $100 million of its digital ad spend without any negative impact on sales.

That has left tech bigwigs scrambling to protect their images, with a recent Facebook statement claiming: "As Mark Zuckerberg said on the last earnings call, we are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made".

In the case of both YouTube and platforms like Facebook, which has faced criticisms about the spread of misinformation, Weed argued it was vital to let them "embed" and "scale" new models, and to remain in on-going discussions.


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