The Economist pp58 Business|The Facebook Boycott| “With a little help from its friends”. “The social network is well placed to weather an ad boycott”
“By July 1st the “StopHateForProfit campaign, which accuses it [Facebook (FB)] of publishing material that incites violence, help persuade more than 600 firms, including giants like Pfizer, Starbucks and Unilever to pull ads from the platform”. This ad spending could move to other internet or traditional platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, newspapers and TV. Having had these firms leave, at least temporarily, FB will be unscathed having a $70bn business with 8m customers “most of them tiny companies with marketing budgets in the hundreds or thousands of dollars and often reliant on Facebook as an essential digital storefront.”
FB’s top 100 advertisers constitute only 20% of revenue. In the first six months of 2020, Pfizer spent about $30m, Microsoft $25m and Starbucks $17m. By contrast Network TV’s top 100 constitute about 70% of ad sales and Cable TV just under 50%.
Already in the queue and in response to the protest FB and other Social-Media are adapting. FB will “label posts that break its rules” or remove if too nefarious. YouTube “blocked various white-supremacist channels” and “Twitch, a video site, suspended President Donald Trump’s own channel for ‘hateful conduct’”. Reddit deleted a forum “The Donald, over hate speech”.