Even as a steady drumbeat of household names joined the pressure campaign over the social network's handling of hate speech and misinformation, the vast majority of Facebook's biggest advertisers have stayed quiet
While the list of brands pulling advertisements off Facebook and Instagram continues to grow, a market analysis has found that the majority of the social media sites’ biggest advertisers are still on board. Data from Pathmatics showed most of Facebook’s top ad contributors are yet to join the boycott. This means that those with the power to actually dent ad revenues are yet to pull weight.
From among Facebook’s top-100 advertisers, only three companies — Pfizer, Microsoft and Starbucks, have publicly announced plans to pull advertisements off the site. Big names that are at least publicly still on board include American Express, Domino’s, AT&T, Walmart, Netflix, Uber and WarnerMedia, as per a CNN Business analysis report.
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There are also those among the top 25 that are on the fence.
Home Depot for example issued a statement that is evaluating Facebook’s future moves based on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s announcements in response to the backlash. Home Depot was the social media site’s biggest advertisers in 2019, alone contributing $178.5 million in ad revenues.
Procter & Gamble – the site’s seventh biggest advertiser with $92.3 million spend in 2019 - said a “comprehensive review” was on and action will be taken if it is determined that “standards are not met.” A similar “evaluation” statement was also made by Wells Fargo spokesperson, who added they were “pleased” with Facebook’s additional steps to stop hate speech.
Notably, all mentioned companies are among the top 25 advertisers on the platform and together contributed close to $2 billion or 3 percent of Facebook’s ad revenues in FY19.
But, data further suggests that even if all 100 companies join in the boycott ad revenues may only be limited to as much as 6 percent, the report said. The company generated $70 billion in ads last year – most of which was drawn from small and medium businesses.
Aldo Read: Why have so many companies decided against advertising on Facebook?
While brand names pulling public support is a cause for concern, reports quoted Zuckerberg tell employees via email that “these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”
Facebook spokesperson Tom Channick confirmed this to CNN Business: "We're making real progress keeping hate speech off our platform, and we don't benefit from this kind of content. We make policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures.”