Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Unilever Issues Advertising Ultimatum To Facebook & Google

Unilever Issues Advertising Ultimatum To Facebook & Google

Unilever has threatened to pull its advertising from Facebook and Google due to the swamp of fake news and other misinformation and may wind up using blockchain technology from IBM to deter fraud. Procter & Gamble said similar things at last year's congress: the FMCG manufacturer said online advertising was often inefficient and that media channels often create unrealistic expectations with their phony and non-transparent visitor numbers.

"It is critical that our brands remain not only in a safe environment, but a suitable one", explains Weed in his address.

Later on Monday, Keith Weed the CMO of Unilever will say as a brand-led company, Unilever needs consumers to have trust in its brands.

"I have a plan with each our digital platforms, and we have a road map, and we work against that", he said.

Previous efforts to spin the flaws in their business model as unanticipated glitches have run afoul of public statements by Facebook co-founders admitting they knew from the start their social media creation was potentially toxic.

According to Fairfax, Unilever forked out close to $US9.5 billion past year on advertising its brands, which include Ben & Jerry's, Dove, and Lipton. It spent over $9 billion on advertising a year ago, second only to Proctor & Gamble. The do care about when brands' ads appear next to child abusers or terrorists, about the moments when they see the same ad 100 times a day or when their data is abused or stolen.

With the constant push and pull between the platform and publishers, the announcement from Unilever is just one more pressure point.

"We can not continue to prop up a digital supply chain - one that delivers over a quarter of our advertising to our consumers - which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency", he said, echoing P&G's Marc Pritchard's call a year ago for the platforms and digital advertising ecosystem as a whole to "clean up the crap" and provide greater transparency and better measurement.

Thirdly, Unilever will only partner with organisations committed to creating better digital infrastructure, such as aligning around one measurement system and improving the consumer experience.

Unilever would no longer advertise on platforms that create divisions in society or fail to protect young people.

As a outcome, Weed said the company will prioritise investing "only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society". Unilever is particularly disturbed by its ads showing up in videos that sexualise and exploit children.

Facebook "fully supports Unilever's commitments and (we) are working closely with them", a spokeswoman said Monday.

Like this: