Ford Motor pulls social media advertising as part of Facebook boycott

Ford Motor Co. is joining the advertising boycott against Facebook sites. (Dreamstime/TNS)
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By Phoebe Wall Howard Detroit Free Press (TNS)

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is joining Starbucks and Coca-Cola in an advertising boycott against Facebook sites as part of an effort to urge the social media giant to regulate misinformation and hate speech critics say divides a troubled nation.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker is now on a growing list of global companies that plan to “pause” advertising on Facebook and also on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. for the next 30 days, Ford spokesman Said Deep confirmed Monday.

A #StopHateforProfit campaign led by a coalition of civil rights groups including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League comes in response to “repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms.”

Ford is reevaluating its presence on all social media platforms, Deep said.

“The existence of content that includes hate speech, violence and racial injustice on social platforms needs to be eradicated,” he said. “We are actively engaged with industry initiatives led by the Association of National Advertisers to drive more accountability, transparency and trusted measurement to clean up the digital and social media ecosystem.”

Other companies participating in the boycott include: Eddie Bauer, Hershey’s, Eileen Fisher, Honda America, JanSport, Patagonia, Levi Strauss, REI, The North Face, Unilever and Verizon. Starbucks alone spent $95 million in 2019, according to The New York Times.

The Ford decision comes during an especially high-profile time period, as it revealed the 2021 F-150 on June 25 and plans to reveal its all-new Ford Bronco on July 13. During this cycle and apart from advertising, Ford products are getting so-called “earned media,” which is news coverage based on product developments.

No GM

Meanwhile, General Motors confirmed that it is not participating in the boycott.

“As we work to eliminate injustice and drive inclusion, we are reviewing and reinforcing our strict marketing guidelines that ensure our brands are never associated with content that is hateful or harmful,” said GM spokesman Jim Cain. “When we have concerns, our approach is to engage our advertising partners directly and privately and work to find solutions.”

A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles representative could not be reached for comment.

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