Unilever Threatens to Pull Ads from Facebook and Google if They Don’t Help Clean Up the Internet
Unilever might stop advertising on digital platforms like Facebook and Google.
That’s according to a speech Keith Weed, the global consumer goods giant’s chief marketing officer, is set to give at the annual Interactive Advertising Bureau conference in Palm Desert, Calif., on Monday. According to the Financial Times, he plans to say that “Unilever will not invest in platforms or environments that do not protect our children or which create division in society, and promote anger or hate.” He compared cleaning up digital advertising and supply chains to the company’s efforts to find sustainable materials for its products.
On Monday, Weed was also named the first Global Marketer of the Year by the World Federation of Advertisers and Campaign magazine. The new award recognizes “marketers who drive more effective and sustainable marketing.”
Unilever (UL) is the second-largest marketing spender in the world. Weed’s planned remarks emphasize the need for consumers to trust Unilever brands, saying that goal is at odds with the current atmosphere of mistrust on the Internet.
Weed’s remarks also will make implicit reference to the growing pressure on companies in Silicon Valley to regulate the content they promote as well as the current political environment. And the speech directly addresses Russian interference in the 2016 election in the U.S. and describes the digital supply chain as a “swamp,” a Trumpian word if ever there was one.