‘Enough Is Enough’: 3,000 UK Advertisers Threaten to Leave Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is being asked on both sides of the Atlantic to explain the social media giant's response to the leak of data on 50 million users to a political consultant for Donald Trump
AFP

A trade body representing 3,000 UK advertisers is expected to meet with Facebook following the company’s latest user data scandal to send the message that “enough is enough.”

BBC News reports that ISBA, a trade body representing 3,000 UK advertisers, will meet with Facebook Friday in the wake of the company’s latest user data scandal. The purpose of the meeting is reportedly to assure the ISBA that Facebook is capable of keeping the personal data of Facebook users safe. If the company is unable to do so, then advertisers may threaten to leave the platform. “We want to understand the scope of the inquiry Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday. We want reassurances for our members that it will get to the bottom of the issues and any implications for the public and for advertisers,” Phil Smith, ISBA director general, told Fox News in a statement.

David Kershaw, the founding director of advertising agency M&C Saatchi, stated “I don’t think they’re bluffing. They are going to exert real pressure.”

Kershaw said that many ad agency clients have become exasperated with Facebook’s regular scandals. “I think that clients have come to a point, quite rightly, where enough is enough,” he said. He believes that advertisers pressuring social media companies is more likely to have an effect on the platform than outcry from users, “It is much more likely to be hard money from advertisers rather than consumers running hashtags on Twitter,” said Kershaw while discussing the recent #DeleteFacebook and #BoycottFacebook hashtags that became popular following Facebook’s latest scandal.

Kershaw stated “From the consumers’ point of view, you have these extraordinary services you get from your social media and there’s an exchange, you’re giving your data. I think that most consumers accept that deal unless it comes to where we are now where that data is abused.” Consumer goods giant Unilever threatened to pull advertising from Facebook and Google recently if they did not do more to crack down on extremist content online. Unilever’s chief marketing officer Keith Weed, said: “We cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online.”

Kershaw said that while companies have a choice of platforms to advertise their products “we live in a very strong oligopoly with Facebook and Google.” He added that M&C Saatchi is predicting that digital media advertising will grow by 10% this year but “60p in every £1 of that increase will go to Facebook and Google and that’s not healthy.”

The CEO of WPP, the largest advertising company in the world, called Facebook and Google a “duopoly” in digital marketing last year.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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