Disney becomes the latest company to withdraw ads from Facebook, which is suffering from a boycott by its advertisers over its policies on so-called “hate speech” and other content. But Disney was the leading advertiser on Facebook for the first six months of this year, according to estimates from Pathmatics Inc., so its withdrawal is particularly painful.
Such large companies as Starbucks, Unilever, Verizon, and Ford have also cut back or withdrawn advertising on the social media platform. The call for a boycott came from such groups as the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP, who claim Facebook has not enforced policies on so-called “hate speech” and misinformation.
Disney didn’t make a public announcement on its Facebook cutback, and the WSJ report cited anonymous sources. The report said the advertising that was pulled focused on the Disney+ streaming service. Disney+ has consumed the bulk of Disney marketing money this year, and the company spent an estimated $210 million on Facebook ads for the streaming service. Other divisions of Disney may also be cutting back, the WSJ report said.
Besides Facebook, Disney has also stopped spending on Facebook-owned Instagram for its Hulu service. The WSJ said Hulu spent $16 million on Instagram from April 15 to June 30, according to Pathmatics.
“We know we have more work to do,” Facebook said in a statement. It claimed it was working with civil-rights groups, a leading ad trade group, and others “to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”
Facebook claims it invests “billions of dollars” to keep its platforms safe, and banned 250 white-supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram. It also claims artificial intelligence helps discover so-called “hate speech” before anyone flags it.