US telecoms giant, Verizon says it is pulling advertising on Facebook and Instagram after one of its adverts appeared next to one by a hate group on Facebook.
Verizon made the announcement on Thursday, making the company perhaps the biggest brand yet to join the #StopHateForProfit boycott.
Marketers including Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and REI have also said they plan to pause advertising on the platforms.
John Nitti, chief media officer for Verizon, said in a statement: “We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.”
This follows an open letter by six groups – the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense – calling on Facebook advertisers to pause their spending on the social media platform during the month of July.
The Anti-Defamation League had sent a letter to companies advertising on Facebook saying it “found an advertisement for Verizon appearing next to a video from the conspiracy group QAnon drawing on hateful and antisemitic rhetoric, warning that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is planning to bring on civil war with concentration camps and coffins at the ready and claiming Americans are already quarantined in militarized districts.”
In Thursday’s statement, Verizon said, “We have strict content policies in place and have zero tolerance when they are breached.
“We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.”
CNBC, quoting marketing analytics company Pathmatics, reported that Verizon spent an estimated $406,600 in Instagram ads between May 22 and June 20 and $1,460,300 on Facebook in that same time period.
Facebook did not immediately respond to calls for comments.