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Unilever Suspends Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Ads in the United States


THE HAGUE ( / hooly News) – Food and cosmetics giant Unilever announced Friday that it would stop advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the United States until at least the end of the year, citing a “polarized electoral period”.

The Anglo-Dutch company thus becomes one of the biggest companies to join a growing list of brands that have chosen to boycott Facebook, accused of not doing enough against hate messages.

“Brands have a duty to help build a reliable and secure digital ecosystem. This is why our brands will no longer post advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the United States,” said in a statement, notably known Unilever for its Dove products and Knorr foods.

“We have made substantial progress (in this area) and we recognize the efforts of our partners, but much remains to be done, especially in the areas of division and hate speech during this polarized electoral period in the United States. United, “said the company.

The announcement comes two days after the ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, which belongs to Unilever, decided to stop buying advertising space on Facebook.

The American telecoms giant Verizon also announced Thursday that it would no longer advertise on the social network for the moment, responding to the call for campaign #StopHateForProfit (“No to hate for profit”), supported by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other rights groups.

“Polarized atmosphere”

Facebook is under increasing pressure over its non-interventionist approach to misinformation and inflammatory messages, especially from US President Donald Trump.

Unilever’s initiative, which speaks of a decision taken “within the framework of its responsibility and the polarized atmosphere in the United States”, also extends to Instagram, owned by Facebook, and Twitter.

“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would bring no added value to people and society,” said the Anglo-Dutch group.

Unilever plans to maintain its total budget for this purpose in the United States and to turn to “other media”.

The company said it will monitor the situation closely and “reconsider its current position if necessary”.

The global food giant, which has brands such as Lipton tea and Magnum ice cream in its portfolio, has recently stepped up initiatives to meet consumer demand and polish its image.

The Indian subsidiary of Unilever announced Thursday to rename its skin lightening cream marketed locally under the name of “Fair & Lovely”, in the context of worldwide demonstrations against racism.

She promised that she would stop using the word “Fair” in the name because the brand “is committed to celebrating all skin tones”.

Unilever also pledged in October to halve its new plastic packaging by 2025, in the face of growing pressure on multinationals in terms of the environment.

smt / bh