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Diageo, Beam Suntory Among Companies Pausing Social Media Spending

June 29, 2020

Diageo and Beam Suntory are among the growing list of major companies who are pausing their paid social media spend amid an outcry over the spread of questionable content on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.

In a statement over the weekend, Diageo said it “strives to promote inclusion and diversity, including through our marketing campaigns. From 1 July we will pause all paid advertising globally on major social media platforms. We will continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content.” Diageo spent $23 million on Facebook last year, the New York Times reported.

Beam Suntory also said it will stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram until the company has dealt with the issue of divisive content, which has sprung to the fore in recent days through an advocacy campaign called Stop Hate For Profit. Facebook, which derives more than 98% of its $70 billion in revenue from advertising, has been under particular fire to increase controls over the content on its platforms.

Starbucks, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hersheys, Patagonia, Levi Strauss, Ben & Jerry’s, and others also announced they are reducing or eliminating their social media spends as the issue flared over the weekend.—Daniel Marsteller

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