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Facebook Boycott Update: How digital advertising has faired after a public breakup

August 09 2021 by Matthew Bozin

 

In July 2020, the #StopHateForProfit movement led a campaign to stop advertisers from spending on Facebook, attempting to force the social network into meaningful policy change on hate speech. The response - over 1000 brands paused or fully cut ad spend. But were there any lasting effects? We took a look at the top brands and impact to Facebook, if any, a year after the boycott.

And, if you like this data appetizer, you can download the main course with the FULL REPORT.

How it started/how it's going

Of the top 25 advertisers who joined the boycott, 17 have spent less on the social network in the year after, than the year before the boycott. 

Disney, the number one advertiser, dropped 75% of Facebook spend, from the year prior, with other notable advertisers like, Procter & Gamble, -48%, Netflix, -77%, Cricket Communication, -87%, and Sprint, -91% dropping or re-allocating significant spend into other channels.

Top 17 brands that dropped spend after

Keep your friends close, and your Facebook friends closer

Screen Shot 2021-08-09 at 12.12.09 PM

While the boycott definitely made headlines and was a PR nightmare for Facebook, the social giant didn't suffer too much on the financial front. In fact, after a short dip, their stock price hit an all time high in August of 2020, while in the thick of the advertiser withdraw.

And, although some advertisers permanently pulled spend from the channel, those cases were in the vast minority as total spend increased by more than $2 Billion in the year post-boycott.

 

Only time will tell

So, can major advertisers have an effect on the largest social network in existence? Perhaps it depends on how we define that effect. Facebook itself has faced intense scrutiny, and has put in place some protections, as outlined by the #StopHateForProfit movement, as a result. But, only time will tell if any meaningful change will occur, as most brands themselves seemed to have walked the line between activism and ad dollars. 

For more data and insights, don't forget to download our full FACEBOOK BOYCOTT: ONE YEAR LATER report. 

What's included:

  • The top brands that boycotted Facebook (and for how long)
  • Advertiser spending patterns on Facebook, and Instagram, in the years before and after the boycott 
  • Top advertisers that shifted budgets away from Facebook and onto other digital channels (Twitter, YouTube, Desktop Display)
  • and much more!
About Author
Matthew Bozin

After earning his BS in Communications, Matt cut his teeth in the entertainment industry, spending fifteen years writing everything from feature screenplays for A-List directors, to celebrity bios for some of Hollywood’s top actors. That creative drive made it an easy transition to Marketing, bringing his eye for storytelling to the digital advertising ecosystem.

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