Unilever to Facebook and Google: Clean up 'swamp' or we'll pull ads

Unilever is threatening to pull its advertising from digital platforms that it says have become a "swamp" of fake new...

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 5:10 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 5:10 PM

Unilever is threatening to pull its advertising from digital platforms that it says have become a "swamp" of fake news, racism, sexism and extremism.

The forceful warning to digital platforms such as Google and Facebook will be delivered at an advertising conference in California later on Monday.

"We cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain ... which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency," Unilever marketing boss Keith Weed will say, according to a copy of his speech obtained by CNN.

Unilever, which owns brands including Dove, Lipton, and Ben & Jerry's, is one of the world's top advertisers. It has an annual marketing budget of roughly -8 billion ($9.8 billion), and 25% of its ads are digital.

Weed will say that a proliferation of objectionable content on social media -- and a lack of protections for children -- is eroding social trust, harming users and undermining democracies.

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

Unilever would no longer advertise on platforms that create divisions in society or fail to protect young people.

Related: Facebook to show less content from brands

Facebook and Google have dominated the online ad market for years, thanks to their massive reach and vast amounts of data. The companies are estimated to have gobbled up more than 60% of digital ad spending in 2017.

It's a situation that advertisers are not entirely happy with.

Google has already come under fire from companies that discovered their ads were being shown alongside objectionable videos on its YouTube video platform.

Related: The $12 trillion prize for doing business better

Facebook, meanwhile, has faced a groundswell of criticism for enabling fake news, filter bubbles, foreign election meddling and social media addiction.

The company, which sources 85% of its revenue from corporate posts and videos, announced in January that it would prioritize posts from friends and family over news stories and content from businesses.

Related: The new Facebook News Feed is rattling Wall Street

Facebook also revealed that users are spending less time on its network after it chose to show fewer viral videos.

Facebook said in a statement that it supports Unilever's commitments and is "working closely with them." Google did not respond to a request for comment.

"2018 is either the year of techlash, where the world turns on the tech giants -- and we have seen some of this already -- or the year of trust," Weed will say. "The year where we collectively rebuild trust back in our systems and our society."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 481397

Reported Deaths: 9395
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32996486
Hinds30973586
DeSoto30491353
Jackson23650348
Rankin21267368
Lee14867220
Madison14145271
Jones13365226
Forrest13125238
Lauderdale11538305
Lowndes10418176
Lamar10184130
Pearl River9055219
Lafayette8218137
Hancock7501112
Washington7033150
Oktibbeha6937124
Monroe6491161
Neshoba6463201
Warren6439163
Pontotoc626593
Panola6219126
Bolivar6105144
Marshall6102121
Union573086
Pike5590136
Alcorn536090
Lincoln5297131
George470072
Scott456096
Leflore4468140
Prentiss445277
Tippah443680
Itawamba4430100
Adams4403116
Tate4351101
Simpson4324112
Wayne431566
Copiah431087
Yazoo423086
Covington414792
Sunflower4137104
Marion4087104
Leake397186
Coahoma394298
Newton368775
Grenada3553104
Stone350659
Tishomingo334689
Attala324886
Jasper313762
Winston303591
Clay295273
Chickasaw286665
Clarke280290
Calhoun265140
Holmes261887
Smith249549
Yalobusha220547
Tallahatchie218850
Walthall210558
Greene207845
Lawrence206033
Perry199353
Amite198152
Webster195942
Noxubee178239
Montgomery172054
Jefferson Davis167642
Carroll161937
Tunica152734
Benton142035
Kemper138440
Claiborne126634
Choctaw126326
Humphreys126337
Franklin116628
Quitman103626
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson88833
Sharkey62820
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 781915

Reported Deaths: 13798
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1109621748
Mobile706071213
Madison49359617
Baldwin36054485
Shelby35933311
Tuscaloosa33540540
Montgomery32996673
Lee22337218
Calhoun20935400
Morgan19666329
Etowah18890454
Marshall17575274
Houston16598377
St. Clair15287298
Limestone14442184
Cullman14441252
Elmore14299259
Lauderdale13395278
Talladega12781234
DeKalb12102233
Walker10495328
Autauga9611135
Blount9595154
Jackson9293152
Coffee8764174
Dale8485171
Colbert8448180
Tallapoosa6557177
Escambia6541117
Covington6409165
Chilton6314142
Russell600655
Franklin5744101
Chambers5350133
Marion4748116
Dallas4672185
Clarke459177
Pike458895
Geneva4333116
Winston420292
Lawrence4099108
Bibb405680
Barbour342969
Marengo324783
Monroe316652
Butler316088
Randolph302855
Pickens300673
Henry299657
Hale290483
Cherokee286752
Fayette276473
Washington245048
Crenshaw236768
Clay226264
Cleburne225750
Macon218057
Lamar192541
Conecuh180146
Lowndes170758
Coosa167533
Wilcox159636
Bullock148642
Perry136336
Sumter124136
Greene120542
Choctaw73326
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