On 19th June 2020, outdoor apparel brand The North Face became the first highest profile brand to join a campaign boycotting advertising on Facebook.
The brand announced its exit from Facebook Advertising in a tweet saying that it would join the campaign launched by several civil rights organisations.
Soon after, REI and Upwork also joined the campaign and announced their withdrawal from Facebook Ads. Several smaller companies have pulled back from advertising on Facebook in the past week as they join the ad-ban movement. North Faces’ parent company, VF Corp., has said that its other brands including Dickies, Vans, Timberland and Smartwool are also “considering” joining in the ban.
Many organisations like The Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense called on companies and brands across the world to boycott Facebook advertising in protest of the platform’s failure to deal with hateful content being circulated.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has faced public scrutiny over the past several weeks for his inaction over hateful and derogatory remarks made by US President Donald Trump. The backlash came from Facebook employees, civil rights organisations and people at large.
With the #StopHateForProfit movement gaining traction, Facebook could potentially be at a massive loss if more companies join in to ban the platform for advertising.
Facebook Ads generates almost 98% revenue for the company and would be a significant loss if the ban escalates with more companies joining in. Facebook is the second-largest player in US digital marketing after Google, and last year generated $69.7 billion from advertising worldwide.