A little over a week ago, you might have heard a distant buzzing. Something far off that you couldn’t quite figure out if you were actually hearing a noise, or if it was something your mind playing a trick on you. Finally, on June 19th, 2020 that noise caught up. That buzz became a crystal-clear din with the announcement of The North Face deciding to pause all of their Facebook and Instagram advertising efforts for the month of July. This was shortly followed by the likes of Patagonia, REI, Ben & Jerry’s and other big-name advertisers making the same announcement.

The #StopHateForProfit movement is here and is something that should be actively discussed with your internal team as well as with your agency on how to best move forward with your Paid Social campaigns in the month of July.

Let’s catch up on the origin of this quickly transforming movement.

  • May 29th a Tweet (that later appeared on Facebook and Instagram) by President Trump stated “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to the protests happening across the nation in response to the killing of George Floyd
  • Twitter blocked this for violating its rules against glorifying violence. Facebook and Instagram posts have remained untouched
  • Facebook does have regulations in place for inciting violence, but Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has stated that this comment does not directly incite violence
  • In the days and weeks following, scrutiny came down from Facebook employees, and other civil rights groups, to put a stop to Facebook’s relaxed rules around ads that promote hate speech and misinformation
  • On Wednesday, June 17th, the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and other top civil rights groups launched the #StopHateForProfit effort, encouraging brands to remove their ad spend from Facebook (and Facebook-owned properties) in July
  • The North Face, REI and Upwork were quick to join the effort to show their alignment with racial justice advocates
  • These brands were just the beginning as other national, and international, advertisers are vowing their removal of Facebook advertisings for the entire month of July
  • It’s important to note that on June 2nd, there was a user-lead effort to support the Black Lives Matter Movement, called Blackout Tuesday. On this day, users and brands alike posted a large black square to show support and solidarity for BLM. Most advertisers took this day to pause their advertising efforts to allow users’ feeds to show black squares only and amplify the voices of the movement

So, that leads us to today – we are quickly approaching July 1st. Businesses are left with a short amount of time to figure out how to best manage their paid social efforts in the current environment. Here at Blue Moon Digital, we want to help support you in what makes the most sense for your business. Our hope for this is to be an open dialog where you can freely share your thoughts and perspective on where you stand in the boycott and the potential impacts on your business. We understand that pausing these programs have larger implications for most businesses. Some businesses may be able to turn ads off and shift the dollars into other programs with ease, but this won’t be the case for all advertisers.

At Blue Moon Digital, we strive to provide support through flexibility and alternative media options for what makes sense for our clients’ businesses. If you are hesitant to pause your Facebook ads in July due to business impacts, we can proceed with caution by monitoring and adjusting as needed – ultimately pausing any programs quickly as decisions are made about how to proceed. If you make the decision to pause, or even want to have a discussion around what this may look like, we want to discuss options such as Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube as a back-up option for your Facebook and Instagram efforts.

We know this will continue to develop and we are closely monitoring the situation to provide updated information as we receive it. First and foremost, we are here as a partner to you and your business, and we’re happy to discuss different options that make the most sense for your brand.