Unilever threatens to pull advertising from social networks

Unilever threatens to pull advertising from social networks

Later on Monday, Keith Weed the CMO of Unilever will say as a brand-led company, Unilever needs consumers to have trust in its brands.

He will say that Unilever does "not want to advertise on platforms which do not make a positive contribution to society".

He'll also cite a new partnership between Unilever and IBM to pilot blockchain technology for advertising, which has "potential to drastically reduce advertising fraud by recording how media is purchased, delivered and interacted with by target audiences", the company says. While the company continues to push for those initiatives, Mr Weed said that consumers don't care about online advertising measurement issues.

According to research firm Pivotal, Facebook and Google accounted for 73% of all digital advertising in the United States in 2017.

"This is not something that can brushed aside or ignored", he will say in the speech.

Analysts see this as a big opportunity to take a larger slice of the online advertising markets.

While the discussion over how online platforms tackle unsavoury and extremist content is not new - it has been rising in volume over the last few years.


For their part, in 2017 both Facebook and Google announced measures to improve the detection of illegal content. In the wake of 2016 election, Google's YouTube, and other tech have come under intense scrutiny for allowing the spread of misinformation-criticism partly fueled by evidence that Russian actors used their platforms to disseminate information created to manipulate United States voters.

Facebook, Twitter and Google, for example have been the focus of Congressional inquiry over how Russian agents may have used their platforms to buy ads or spread fake news items during the 2016 presidential election, often to fan flames of division over race, religion, gender and sexual preference.

"Yes they are now addressing these problems, but they should have been quicker to put money into these things".

Ms Abrams said that many in the digital media industry felt that tech giants had swung the power balance in the global advertising space primarily in their favour, and that the balance needed to be redressed.

In his speech, Weed declares: "As one of the largest advertisers in the world, we can not have an environment where our consumers don't trust what they see online".

Google and Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.

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