Unilever Threatens To Pull Ads From Digital Platforms That 'Create Division'

Unilever Threatens To Pull Ads From Digital Platforms That 'Create Division'

Unilever says it will not invest in platforms that "create division" in society and "promote anger or hate", arguing that "social media should build social responsibility".

That's according to a speech Keith Weed, the global consumer goods giant's chief marketing officer, is set to give at the annual Interactive Advertising Bureau conference in Palm Desert, Calif., on Monday.

In the speech, Weed will call on the technology industry to improve transparency and consumer trust in an era of fake news and "toxic" online content. "We will prioritize investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society".

Mr Weed will also confirm that the company will only partner with organisations that it believes are creating "better digital infrastructure". Amid a social media backlash and calls for a boycott, the brand apologised, saying it "missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully". They do care about fraudulent practice, fake news, and Russians influencing the USA election.

So far, though, such activities have won them few plaudits, including from companies like Unilever - whose brands include Dove soap and Lipton tea - that collectively spend billions of euros each year to advertise on these digital networks. "But they do care when they see their brands being placed next to ads funding terror, or exploiting children".

As part of a cost-cutting drive, Unilever has cut its TV advertising and reduced the number of ad agencies from 3,000 to 1,500.

In response, Google, Twitter and Facebook have all taken steps to eliminate fake accounts and clamped down on harmful material that is shared on their networks.

He will add: "It is in the digital media industry's interest to listen and act on this. before viewers stop viewing, advertisers stop advertising and publishers stop publishing".

Facebook has come under fire for allowing fake news to flood users' news feeds and Twitter has been accused of failing to confront political bots amid allegations that Russian Federation used an army of fake accounts to sway the Brexit vote and United States election in 2016.

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