The Cold, Hard Facebook FAQs – Stop Hate for Profit

Kevin Goodwin, VP of Media Services | Seattle, WA

Over the past month, a movement to boycott Facebook advertising during the month of July has gained momentum. In the last week, several well known brands, including The North Face and REI, announced their support of the movement and their plans to suspend Facebook advertising for all of July.

We understand every brand is in a unique position with respect to this boycott and the demands behind it. To ensure you can make the most prudent decisions for your business, we’re sharing some FAQ’s we’ve received from some of our clients in hopes they will help:

Why are brands boycotting Facebook in July?

  • The NAACP, ADL, and other civil rights advocacy groups launched a campaign, #StopHateforProfit, encouraging advertisers to stop investing dollars on all Facebook properties in July. The effort is intended to pressure Facebook to combat the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform. Additionally, the campaign is demanding that Facebook provide more support for people who are targets of racism and hate on the social media platform. You can see their full list of recommendations here.

Who is currently participating in the Facebook boycott?

  • Several major brands have already made statements that they will be fully boycotting Facebook ads in July. Patagonia, North Face and REI, as we mentioned earlier, have all taken a strong and early stance – and others are following suit this week. Nearly all major, known participants at this point in time are in the outdoor space.
  • So far, only two of our clients have committed to participating in the boycott. Around 26% of our clients are actively considering pausing, but have made no commitments. We will be updating these numbers weekly.

How many New Engen clients participated in Blackout Tuesday? Did advertising costs drop because of brands pausing?

  • Given this was only intended to be a one-day pause, most of New Engen clients (89%) paused all Instagram ads, while around 61% of our clients paused both Facebook and Instagram ads. Around 80% of those that paused for blackout Tuesday resumed advertising the next day. The remaining 20% stayed paused for three days total, on average.
  • With many advertisers pausing, blended Facebook/Instagram CPM’s dropped around 30-40%.

How is Facebook responding to the demands of the boycott?

  • Starting in the U.S., Facebook users will now be able to choose to see fewer political ads on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.
  • Facebook has said in a statement they are continuing to improve their efforts in detecting and removing hate speech, but has not laid out specific, new actions in this area.

We have assembled a task force of channel experts who will meet multiple times a week throughout July to lead the charge in data gathering and strategy recommendations. Whether you’re a client, or are interested in working with New Engen, please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.