Patagonia becomes latest company to pull ads from Facebook

Source: The Hill | June 22, 2020 | Justin Wise

Patagonia announced on Sunday that it is pulling its ads from Facebook, becoming the latest company to join an advertising boycott demanding the tech giant take greater steps to police incendiary speech on the platform.

A band of civil rights groups last week launched the “#StopHateForProfit” campaign in response to what it called “Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform.” The groups said that a cease in advertising spending by corporations could send a “powerful message.”

Cory Bayers, the head of marketing at Patagonia, said in a series of tweets that the decision to join the boycott stemmed from Facebook’s failure to take sufficient steps “to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform.” The outdoor apparel company said that its ad boycott would apply to Facebook and Instagram and that it would proceed until at least the end of July, “pending meaningful action from the social media giant.”

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The move came just two days after NorthFace and REI announced that they were suspending advertising spending with Facebook. Upwork, a global freelancing platform, also announced on Friday that it was “hitting pause” on its Facebook advertising. All four of the companies attached the message “#StopHateForProfit” to their announcements. 

“From secure elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, the stakes are too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred,” Bayers said. “We stand with #StopHateforProfit in saying Facebook’s ‘profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and violence.”

Carolyn Everson, VP of Facebook’s global business group, told The Hill in a statement that “we deeply respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information.”

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