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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: 320107

Reported Deaths: 7378
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22291269
Hinds20741421
Harrison18444317
Rankin13917282
Jackson13731249
Madison10270224
Lee10060176
Jones8473167
Forrest7834153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636088
Lafayette6314121
Washington5426137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4161136
Union415877
Neshoba4064180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387087
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3372111
Alcorn327473
Scott320374
Yazoo314371
Adams308386
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298984
Simpson298589
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272274
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248963
Tishomingo232268
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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