Unilever has announced plans to end its boycott and start advertising on social media again from January 2021. In June,the company announced that it was pausing advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter due to their failure to manage hate speech.
The company said they would resume advertising as the three social media platforms had made progress in their management of harmful content.
“Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have committed to concrete steps to further manage harmful content moving forward, including common definitions for 11 harmful content areas,” Unilever said in a statement.
Luis Di Como, Unilever’s executive vice president for Global Media lauded the companies for their efforts in building “healthier environments” that are in line “with the principles of the global Alliance or Responsible Media (GARM)”
GARM is a forum launched by the World Federation of Advertisers. It works in collaboration with social media platforms to tackle hate speech and misinformation. Recently, the WFA worked out a deal through GARM that will see the platforms “adopt common definitions and reporting standards on harmful content uch as hate speech.”
The deal will see Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube agree to let outsiders audit how they handle such content.
“We look forward to our continued partnership in 2021 and remain committed to our work with the Global Alliance for Responsible Media to fight harmful content online.” Facebook said as a response to Unilever’s announcement.
Unilever spends millions of money each year marketing its various brands. It was ranked the 30th highest spender on Facebook Ads in 2019 after spending more that $42 million on the platform. Unilever gave lots of warnings about halting their digital advertisements saying the platforms had been flooded with “fake news, racism, sexism and extremism.
Unilever’s June boycott against Facebook and Twitter sent shares tumbling in both companies.