PepsiCo, Inc. is quietly joining the growing number of companies that make dollars from Facebook, people close to the topic say to FOX Business.
Unlike companies such as Ben and Jerry and Patagonia who have expressed their frustration with Facebook’s policies that allegedly allow racist content allowed on the site, PepsiCo hasn̵
The move could have broad implications given the size of PepsiCo – a turnover of $ 67 billion last year – and the stature that produces some of Corporate America’s most iconic brands including its namesake drink. PepsiCo is expected to spend up to $ 2.6 billion a year on marketing, promotion and advertising and, like most large companies, is dedicating an increasing portion of its advertising budget to social media platforms such as Facebook, which has long been considered one of the best ways to reach an online audience.
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Indeed, some large corporations, which sought to cut costs between the pandemic and the recession of COVID-19, were weighing the cut in television advertising and diverting money to cheaper online places.
But that move ran into the vast social upheaval that followed the death on May 25 of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while taken into police custody. Protests also galvanized Corporate America, with many large companies holding racial relations seminars, while groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) have invited social media platforms. to improve police hatred speech on their sites.
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Facebook has long been criticized for not acting aggressively in limiting hate speech with its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, resisting claims to remove posts and label certain types of comments as inappropriate. Criticism of Facebook’s policies intensified after President Trump ‘released a social media statement amidst George Floyd’s unrest that “when the looting begins, filming begins.”
Facebook let the comment remain on its site, while its rival Twitter took the step of signaling the statement for violating its “glorify violence” policies.
In recent days, among the growing requests from activist groups to boycott Facebook, companies are starting to extract their ads from its platform. Last week, advertising agency Goodby Silverstein announced that they were joining the boycott on Twitter. In the same statement, the company working with other brands, including Adobe, HP, PayPal and BMW, encouraged customers and employees to participate in the boycott. PepsiCo is also one of the agency’s clients.
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“We will join # StopHate4Profit and stop publishing on @Facebook for the month of July. We are taking this action to protest the irresponsible propagation of the hate speech, racism and misleading voter information platform. We encourage customers and our staff to join us, “the company announced in a tweet. Goodby Silverstein is a subsidiary of Omnicom Group, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world.
It is unclear why PepsiCo decided not to release a press release on the go. Company spokesman Jon Banner did not respond to phone calls and emails for comment. A Facebook press official also did not respond to calls and emails for comments.
But people within the company say the ban is far-reaching and designed to make a statement about Facebook’s profits, as Facebook generates around $ 1 billion a quarter in advertising revenue. During the first quarter of 2020, Facebook posted revenues of $ 17.7 billion.
Facebook shares fell more than 8% on Friday on the news of the boycott.
Social media companies have increasingly juggled allowing free speech with their responsibility to moderate content considered hate speech or news production for political purposes.
But Zuckerberg has taken a more lax approach than his Twitter counterpart, Jack Dorsey.
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In a 2018 Senate hearing, Zuckerberg said to Congress: “I think there are a number of content areas that we need to do better police work on our service.” More recently, he highlighted the need for an open and free platform – telling Fox News last month that he didn’t think Facebook should be “the arbiter of truth”.
Zuckerberg said Friday that he will change Facebook’s policy by adding labels to “noteworthy” content that violates his policies.
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“Often, seeing politicians’ speeches is in the public interest and in the same way that news reports report what a politician says, we think people should generally be able to see them alone on our platforms,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post. “We will soon start labeling some of the content we leave because it is deemed noteworthy, so people can know when it is.”