QUICK READ: According to the World Federation of Advertisers, a trade body that covers 90 percent of the world’s advertising spending a third of the world’s biggest brands will suspend spending on social media or are likely to do so. Think it will last?
What’s striking about this boycott is the number of brands who are saying they are reassessing their longer-term media allocation strategies and demanding structural changes in the way they address racial intolerance, hate speech, and harmful content. It’s a direct challenge to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook and it’s long overdue.
After Facebook’s share price dived, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, announced plans on Friday to prohibit hate speech in ads and better protect groups such as immigrants from attacks. But since then the big-brand boycott has gathered pace.
According to the Financial Times “after Facebook’s share price dived, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, announced plans on Friday to prohibit hate speech in ads and better protect groups such as immigrants from attacks. But since then the big-brand boycott has gathered pace”.
Let’s put this in perspective though. Facebook has lied to Congress and advertisers and Zuckerberg have an airtight grip on the platform. With the number of posts on Facebook, it’s almost impossible to monitor every post and reply.
Facebook’s current behavior aside advertisers should have walked away from Facebook a long time ago when they misstated (lied) about Facebook’s metrics.
Will advertisers stay away? No. Marketers and media companies go where the people are and the great boycott of Facebook has not translated into any significant loss of their audience. My guess is Facebook will announce some measures to stop the hate and advertisers will flock back.
The interesting aspect of this whole mess is that brands are now reviewing ALL their social media advertising. They’ll either have to get really good at it to show ROI or they are going. to allocate the media dollars elsewhere.
I have continually wondered what happened to all the set-promotional people who enhanced their personal brands by telling us brands had to be on Facebook. They wrote their books, raked in the cash and gathered sheep on LinkedIn to follow them.
Facebook could easily sit this out and not do a damn thing. Facebook has 8m customers and the reality is that the top 100 represents less than 20 percent of its advertising revenue — the financial impact will be nothing like the market cap decline.
It’s also time for agencies to stop urging clients to spend a lot of money on social media because they make a lot of money putting ads on Facebook. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in during Facebook presentations that were pure bullshit covered. with sugar.
Advertisers are also good about flocking to new platforms because they believe the Kool-Aid from their press releases. I’ve worked with clients who have, rather, enhanced their own branded websites and paid search to provide a better ROI. Maybe now marketers will understand that.