What The #StopHateForProfit Facebook Boycott Means for Local Businesses

By Scott Conlon

      Jul 1, 2020     Solutions    

Every year, brands spend roughly $70 billion on Facebook ads to get their messaging in front of more than three billion monthly users.

But, the Stop Hate For Profit campaign is causing many brands to pull back from putting their dollars into Facebook advertising.

Why Brands Are Embracing #StopHateForProfit

Facebook has come under fire recently (in addition to their many other recent problems) for what the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes as the company, “amplifying the messages of white supremacists, permitting incitement to violence” and “failing to disrupt bad actors using the platform to do harm.”  

Along with the NAACP, organizations that include Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press, and Common Sense have collectively launched the Stop Hate For Profit campaign in an attempt to get Facebook to reconsider their policies related to misinformation and hate speech.  

As Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP describes, “It is clear that Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy.”  

Organizations behind the Stop Hate For Profit are calling for Facebook to reconsider their policies and implement changes as they relate to accountability, decency, and support. They outlined ten steps that Facebook needs to make to act against hate and disinformation.  

The campaign has also called on brands to stop spending money on Facebook advertising until those changes are made.  

And, brands are responding in masse.

At the last check, 242 brands have signed the pledge to stop advertising on Facebook. On the list are Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Wendy’s, and The Coca-Cola Company. Most recently, Starbucks and Diageo have joined -- taking a lot of money with them. Last year, Starbucks spent $95 million and Diageo spent $23 million on the platform.

Brands are making a stand in part because many of their customers are demanding change.  

Consumers are tired of and frustrated with brands they feel are complicit in the spread of hate, racism, harassment, and misinformation. They want to see change, and brands both big and small are using the Stop Hate For Profit campaign as an opportunity to drive change and show their customers where they stand on these issues.

How Local Brands Can #StopHateForProfit

While much of the attention of the Stop Hate For Profit has focused on large brands, it is a movement that reaches small businesses as well. Small businesses spend about $1,000 to $2,000 per month on Facebook ads.  

Millions of small, local businesses use Facebook to reach their audiences. So, how does the Stop Hate For Profit impact them?  

At MyArea Network, it is our mission to help small, local businesses reach more local customers so they can support a strong local economy, culture, and community.  We know these are challenging times for small businesses as they attempt to bounce back from COVID business disruption -- and balance supporting important causes while continuing to market and manage their businesses.  

We are also in full support of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign.  

MyArea Network stands against hate and misinformation that sows division and drives racism. We support the movement and want to be able to help other small, local businesses take a stand for these issues as well.  

If your small business wants to support the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, here are a few ways to get involved.  

  1. Make the decision as an organization to support the Stop Hate For Profit mission. Talk to your team about what the campaign stands for and how it aligns with your brand values. See if other changes within your organization are needed to support the cause.
  2. Consider redirecting some of your ad spend to organizations related to the larger Stop Hate For Profit mission. If you want to make your commitment to the Stop Hate For Profit mission more impactful, see if you can redistribute some of your cancelled ad spend by donating to organizations that support the cause even more.
  3. Let your customers know about the changes. Customers are eager to support brands that stand for causes they care about. Let your customers know about your commitment to stop spending on Facebook and for how long. Also, share your brand values and how they align with the campaign to show why this movement is important to your organization.
  4. Look for other ways to stay connected to your customers. If you rely on Facebook for most of your advertising, find other outlets that help you reach customers. Here is a list of 28 marketing channels where you can reach customers outside of Facebook.

Need Some Advice?

We are in this fight against hate, racism, and misinformation together.  

If you would like to discuss options for redistributing your Facebook ad spend so you can support the Stop Hate For Profit campaign without losing your connection with local customers, we are here to help. Please contact us today so we can make this important progress together.