Disney cuts ad spend on Facebook as boycott grows

Walt Disney has become the latest company to slash its advertising spending on Facebook as the social media giant faces an ad boycott over its handling of hate speech and controversial content, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Disney joins other companies like Starbucks, Unilever and Adidas that have pulled advertising from the tech giant. The time frame for Disney’s pullback wasn’t clear as some brands paused their ad spending for longer stretches, the report said, adding that Disney didn’t make a public announcement that it was cutting back on Facebook but shifted advertising plans silently.

Disney has paused advertising of its streaming video service Disney+ on Facebook, the report said.“We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups,” a Facebook representative said in an emailed statement. Disney was not immediately available for a comment. 

It is, however, not clear the time frame for which Disney intends to stay away from the social media platforms.

This makes Disney the latest addition to the list of brands that have pulled back advertising from Facebook.  Unilever, Verizon, CocaCola, Honda and the chocolate brand Hershey, have already committed to containing advertisements on Facebook.

In late June, Zuckerberg announced tweaks to a number of policies around hate speech and voter suppression but the measures have not helped halt the snowball of companies taking a stand to stop advertising from the platform in the US.

Just days before Facebook announced the damage-control measures, Unilever said it would stop advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the United States for the rest of the year. Also, another major force in the advertising world Coca-Cola too said around the same time that it would suspend ads on social media for at least 30 days.