With Facebook reeling after revelations that an app maker exposed millions of user profiles and then gave that user data to Cambridge Analytica, marketers, barring a few, have so far been mostly quiet about whether they will take action against the platform giant.
On March 23, consumer electronics company Sonos said it will pull advertising from Facebook, Instagram, Google and Twitter for a week and donate an undisclosed amount of money to RightsCon, a digital rights conference. The company didn’t share how much it spends on those platforms, but said its Facebook spend is “significant.”
Other advertisers that have pulled money from Facebook include Mozilla. COO Denelle Dixon wrote in a blog post that the company was “pressing pause” on its Facebook spend. Germany bank Commerzbank said it would do the same.
In a blog post, Sonos said the reason it won’t permanently abandon those platforms is because it fundamentally believes in them: “We have found Facebook, Instagram, and other online platforms to be incredibly effective ways to reach our customers and to share our mission as a company — Not to mention stay in touch with friends and family in our personal lives,” the company wrote in the post.
Greg March, CEO at media agency Noble People, calls it “activism as brand strategy.” Unlike last year’s YouTube crisis, where multiple major brands like AT&T pulled or at least decreased spend on YouTube and Google, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is less of a “house on fire.” “I don’t know the harm that brands are going to run into in a near-term way with Facebook,” he said, “but I did know the harm when YouTube had nasty stuff on there and it was next to my advertising.”
With Sonos, and any marketers that respond to the Facebook scandal, there has to be a specific brand strategy. Sonos cares as a brand about privacy — it has been vocal with issues like net neutrality and the idea of an open internet. “They’re early, and they’re putting their money where their mouth is,” March said.
Elsewhere, brands are mostly quiet. A rep at a top media-buying agency told Digiday it’s not seeing moves away from Facebook at this point.
A second media buyer also said no clients are pulling their ads from the platform. “Facebook’s problem is with its users, not its advertisers,” this person said.
Another media buyer said the only way his brands would pull advertising would be if users leave Facebook — and if history is to be believed, they won’t. “If it didn’t happen before this, considering all the scandals [Facebook has] had, it won’t happen now.”
As influencer marketing grows up, brands, agencies experiment with new content tools like bots
Influencer marketing is maturing as a business for many media firms, as they find ways to leverage creator content and gain new audiences.
No more newspaper ads: Why J.C. Penney is going digital-first this holiday season
As shoppers continue to shift to e-commerce, legacy retailer J.C. Penney is making its strategy digital-first to keep up.
Confessions of a Super Smash Bros. tournament organizer on Nintendo’s lack of support for competitive gaming
Unlike other publishers such as Activision Blizzard and Riot Games, which have pumped millions of dollars into organizing and marketing esports leagues for their titles, Nintendo has never offered serious prize money for competitive Smash events.
SponsoredHow Comscore is simplifying pre- and post-campaign measurement for advertisers
Produced in partnership with Marketecture The following article provides highlights from an interview between Greg Dale, Comscore’s general manager of digital, and Mike Shields, co-founder of Marketecture. Register for free to watch more of the discussion and learn how advanced advertising measurement is providing advertisers access to the deep data they need across all platforms. […]
How the new Web3 loyalty program at Starbucks will be a litmus test for the future of branded NFTs
Starting with a small group of members and employees, Starbucks will invite participants into “journeys” that allow them to collect NFTs and points that unlock new benefits and experiences.
How Yeti is marketing like a DTC brand on social media and in the outdoors
Known for being a brand of indestructible coolers, cups and increasingly lifestyle apparel, Yeti has been evolving from a wholesale company to one that markets more like a direct-to-consumer company as it experiments on platforms like TikTok, Pinterest and its own media properties.