Disney silently cuts Facebook ad spend for Disney+

Disney has reportedly cut its advertising spend on Facebook, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Citing its sources, WSJ said Disney is concerned about the way Facebook is handling objectionable content, and has paused advertising of its streaming video service Disney+. It is added that Disney did not make a public announcement of its move, but instead changed its advertising plans silently. Marketing has reached out to Disney to ask about the effect on its SEA markets.

Disney is the latest to follow in the Facebook ad boycott. Since June, brands in the US such as Ben & Jerry's, Unilever, Verizon, The North Face, Starbucks, Hershey's, and Patagonia have also followed suit. Additionally, Diageo and Coca-Cola have also paused their global advertising on all social media platforms. While Diageo said it would continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content, Coca-Cola, which said it is pausing advertising for at least 30 days, added that it would take this time to reassess its advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. 

This comes as the campaign "Stop Hate for Profit", which was launched by six organisations in the US, including the Anti-Defamation League and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, gained steam online.

According to the campaign, Facebook "allowed incitement to violence against protesters" fighting for racial justice in America in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and so many others. The campaign also alleged that Facebook had "turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression" on its platform, adding that while Facebook could protect and support Black users as well as call out Holocaust denial as hate, it is "actively choosing not to do so". "Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence," the campaign website said.

Last week, Facebook released a blog post by its chief diversity officer Maxine Williams highlighting the social media giant's efforts in being inclusive. Williams said it wants inclusion to a leading factor, not a lagging one, in everything it does. "In every crisis, there are opportunities to help, to serve and to bring people together — to stand for community and, more importantly, to act for community," she added.

Williams also mentioned Facebook's efforts in helping the community during crises, such as building a Coronavirus Information Center, which helped local news outlets continue their critical services, and helped researchers use data to track the spread of the disease and inform effective response efforts. Facebook also committed to spend US$1 billion with diverse suppliers in 2021, including US$100 million with Black-owned businesses. It also pledged another US$100 million in grants and ad credits to Black small and medium-sized businesses, creators and non-profits in the US, among other financial investments.

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