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Companies Like Honda Are Boycotting Facebook, Instagram

Did you know there was a Facebook and Instagram boycott? Growing by the day the boycott sees large companies withholding advertising over the sites preventing disinformation and hate speech. Verizon, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Levis, Hershey’s, and similar large companies have pledged to halt their advertising to align more publicly with civil-rights groups. Now Honda is boycotting both Facebook and Instagram.

“For the month of July, American Honda will withhold its advertising on Facebook and Instagram, choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism,” in a statement from Honda. “This is in alignment with our company’s values, which are grounded in human respect.” This also includes suspending Acura spending as well. Honda made the announcement less than 24 hours after Unilever and Verizon announced their boycott of social media.

Unilever is not only boycotting Instagram and Facebook but also Twitter

Unilever is going even further. It is not only boycotting Instagram and Facebook but also Twitter. Also, it is suspending social media spending through the rest of the year. For now, Honda says it will continue spending on Twitter. According to Ad Age Honda is the 33rd-largest ad spender in the US.

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Honda and Facebook logos

In 2018 Honda Motor Company spent $1.39 billion on advertising in the US. In the past 30 days, Honda has spent almost $700,000 on Facebook alone. That was after it had scaled back advertising on social media in May. So Honda’s boycott goes on top of it already pulling back Facebook advertising.

For its part, Facebook VP of global business Carolyn Everson told Automotive News, “We deeply respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.” 

Honda’s advertising budget in the US is less than half of GM’s. In 2018 GM spent over $3 billion in the US. Right behind it was Ford Motor Company spending almost $2.5 billion last year. Unilever spent $42.3 million on Facebook only in 2019. 

Facebook is trying to stay ahead of the boycott

Unilever is a global company with recognizable brands like Vaseline, Lipton tea, Hellmann’s, and Breyers. We’ll see how fast this spreads or dies out but Facebook is trying to stay ahead of the boycott. Everson has sent an email to advertisers. In it, she says, “Many of you have expressed concern that a boycott on Facebook is unlikely to stop there – boycotts tend to spread to other platforms/media and boycotting, in general, is not the way for us to make progress together.  I also really hope by now you know that we do not make policy changes tied to revenue pressure.  We set our policies based on principles rather than business interests.”

If there are additional auto manufacturers involved we’ll update this post. Otherwise, chalk up Honda boycotting Facebook and Instagram to the general unease and hope for change that will improve and benefit everyone.