Omnicom-owned ad agency Goodby Silverstein joins Facebook boycott


Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, October 23, 2019.

Erin Scott | Reuters

Advertising agency Goodby Silverstein, owned by the Omnicom Group, has announced that it intends to join the “#StopHateForProfit” campaign and pull advertising from Facebook next month.

Last week, a group of six organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sleeping Giants and Color of Change, called on Facebook advertisers to halt their spending on the social media platform during the month of July. They’re asking large brands “to show they will not support a company that puts profit over safety.”

“We will join #StopHate4Profit and stop posting on @Facebook for the month of July,” Goodby Silverstein said via Twitter.

“We are taking this action to protest the platform’s irresponsible propagation of hate speech, racism, and misleading voter information. We encourage clients and our own people to join us.”

Goodby Silverstein appears to be the first major ad agency to join the campaign. 

The agency’s clients include the likes of BMW, HP, PayPal, Pepsi, Doritos, and Adobe, although these companies have not joined the boycott themselves. 

Carolyn Everson, VP of Facebook’s Global Business Group, said in a statement: “We 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.” 

Goodby Silverstein’s decision comes after ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s said it was joining the campaign on Tuesday.

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“Ben & Jerry’s stands with our friends at the NAACP and Color of Change, the ADL, and all those calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy,” the company, which is owned by Unilever, said in a blog post.

Outdoor brands including The North Face, Patagonia, and Arc’teryx have also joined the boycott.

Arc’teryx said Tuesday it was pausing global advertising on Facebook and Instagram and “donating those dollars towards building more inclusive outdoors.”

—CNBC’s Megan Graham contributed to this article.

Clarification: The headline and photo of this story have been updated to highlight that Goodby Silverstein’s clients are currently not part of the boycott.



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