Facebook is no stranger to scandals and crises. The social network has already undergone several reputational crises throughout its history, which have been corrected in one way or another. But, although reputation crises lost some users or even airtime, so far they had not affected ad spend. Even after the Cambridge Analytica crisis, when Facebook’s reputation was at a minimum and the company carried out investigations of some level in several countries, advertisers continued to flow to the social network because it still had a high number of users.But things could be changing and Facebook could have lost positions in terms of flexibly surviving reputational crises. Advertisers may have reached their limits and Facebook could be about to start a difficult summer. Beyond the slowdown in investment linked to the coronavirus pandemic and the situation derived from it, some advertisers are avoiding the social network and, what is more worrying for the company, also its properties, such as Instagram The trend was detected already a week ago by The New York Times . According to their data, the way in which Facebook was handling messages from Donald Trump (as opposed to what was happening with Twitter) and its role in disinformation had caused several companies to begin to freeze their advertising investment.Some large brands, a third estimated, had reduced their advertising investment in the Facebook ecosystem by $ 100,000 a day.
As the head of an agency Kiribati Email Database explained to the Times at the time , advertisers felt that they had given too many passes to Facebook and that it was becoming too difficult to look in another direction.A call for a boycottAnd now, as The Wall Street Journal has discovered , the slowdown comes directly from one of the big online ad agencies. 360i, owned by Dentsu Group, is advising its customers not to advertise in the Facebook environment. He is recommending them, according to the Journal , that they join a boycott that has just been called by the NAACP and the American Anti-Defamation League, among other groups.The call for a boycott made by groups fighting for civil rights seeks to pressure, with a blackout in July on Facebook, that the social network do something real to change how it is.
That is, they want it to stop being a hostile space and a scenario in which disinformation, fake news and attacks circulate without much problem. The call for a boycott was already a problem of communication and reputation, but that the agencies begin to unite indicates that it will be an economic problem. 360i has many very important clients, consumer giants who spend a lot of money on advertising.The 360i email, as noted in the Journal , does not directly tell its customers that they should not advertise on Facebook and its ecosystem, but it doesn’t take much to read it between the lines. In fact, as pointed out in the economic newspaper, the mail itself includes a link to the article in the Journal in which it talks about the boycott demanded by the associations fighting for civil rights.
“It is no longer enough to be on the road to solve this or just celebrate the considerable improvements made in the last year,” says the email, saying that we must act and that they support “Aristophanes and their call to action in July “.If you add to that the fact that some important executives in the online advertising industry have begun to make statements on a personal level saying that the situation cannot continue to be tolerated any longer and that Facebook should assume its responsibility, you have the full picture. The tension between Facebook and advertisers could be more than close to exploding and Facebook could have a very serious problem on its hands.