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July advertising boycotts

You will no doubt be aware of a current issue surrounding social media platforms. As it stands, the policies of social media platforms which address hate speech have been placed under a global spotlight as some multinational corporations have committed to boycotting advertising across the medium for July.

The #StopHateForProfit Movement has spearheaded this movement, and currently the focus is on Facebook (including Instagram) and Twitter. We know that some advertisers have also stated concern around their branding appearing alongside hate content in certain placements owned by Facebook.

Clearly this is an evolving situation, and we are mindful that many charities will be having to evaluate the holistic impact and threat of this movement from a fundraising, awareness and reputation perspective.  

As a partner in the not for profit sector we acknowledge the importance of social platforms, and the role they play as both a medium for connecting causes and their followers, as well as a crucial revenue driver, especially during a time when other streams of income have been temporarily and in some cases permanently cut off. 

We also believe that more can be done by social media platforms to prevent hate of all kinds, whether it be racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, or any other forms of hate and bigotry, we should not tolerate inaction. Especially when it is within the control of these media owners to enact positive change within their platforms and communities. 

 

What we’re doing…

First and foremost, we are here to support every one of our clients individually with whatever decision or approach they choose to take in response to the boycotts. Each organisation will be grappling with its own set of unique challenges and our role is to support each Leadership Team with whatever they decide is right for their charity. In terms of any risk of our clients content appearing alongside hate speech, Manifesto has always operated with a brand ‘safety-first’ approach. All of our campaigns follow our standard operating practice to ensure that client’s adverts do not get placed on Facebook’s Audience Network, or any other Placement outside of the Facebook / Messenger / Instagram apps, where the risk of advertising appearing alongside hate content is much higher. 

 

What you can do…

  • If you are running social media campaigns yourself, or with another media agency, review the placements being used on Facebook, and exclude all but the ‘Feeds’ themselves to limit your placements to the network. 
  • Review your marketing and/or ethics policies as a starting point to help guide your decision-making in this scenario, and if they don’t cover this, you and your team will need to update them to take this into account for the future. 
  • If you have a direct relationship with Facebook or Twitter, reach out to understand what affirmative actions are being taken; what is their organisation’s response, what actions are being taken, what is the timeline for change? 
  • For those who do decide to change their marketing approach, our team of experienced digital marketing strategists can work with your teams to develop short-term tactics to minimise the impact on income and your charitable impact.  

Looking further afield, this situation has shone a light on a risk about a dependency on some key big players in the form of Facebook or Google. It’s always good to reflect on what an alternative approach might be? We have a great opportunity now more than ever to focus on diversifying our digital media toolkit by investigating and exploring new media opportunities. As well as a further reflection on what needs to be done to ensure ethical digital fundraising in the future. 

 

Keeping the dialogue open…

At Manifesto, we find ourselves often debating issues where options may not always be clear cut. It is a complex world we operate in. We always find that creating a forum for safe and open dialogue is a useful step to take when navigating the way ahead. If enough people are interested, we would be very happy to host such a session for people to share their concerns, updates and questions. 

If you or anyone from your organisation would be interested in attending this hosted discussion please fill out this form.

The Manifesto Team

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