The North Face Boycotts Facebook Ads over ‘Spread of Misinformation’

Founder Mark Zuckerberg told congressional panels Facebook intends to offer the same privacy protections embodied in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation for its worldwide users
SAUL LOEB/AFP

Outdoor clothing brand The North Face has become the first major brand to boycott Facebook ads following mounting pressure from civil-rights organizations to leave the platform due to Facebook’s “spread of misinformation,” claiming it will not return to advertising until Mark Zuckerberg implements stricter policies relating to what the company considers racist, violent, and hateful content.

Business Insider reports that outdoor clothing brand The North Face stated this week that it would stop buying Facebook ads in the United States in solidarity with civil-rights groups like the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, along with Sleeping Giants, a left-wing group which has previously led an advertising boycott campaign against Breitbart News.

The company announced the decision by quoting a tweet by the NAACP about the spread of misinformation on Facebook’s platform and adding “We’re in. We’re Out @Facebook.”

Steve Lesnard, The North Face’s global VP of marketing, said in a statement: “We know that for too long harmful, racist rhetoric and misinformation has made the world unequal and unsafe, and we stand with the NAACP and the other organizations who are working to #StopHateforProfit.”

A company spokesperson told Business Insider that it would be halting all U.S. paid advertising with Facebook from June 19 until Facebook implements stricter policies relating to racist, violent, and hateful content.

The North Face is the first major brand to pull its advertising from Facebook, other smaller firms such as mediation app Talkspace and payment company Fons have also pledged to stop advertising on Facebook.

Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions, Carolyn Everson, commented on the movie stating that it was in conversation with marketers and civil-rights organizations about how they could work with the group to “be a force for good.” Everson stated: “We deeply respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information.”

Advertising via Facebook has become a particularly hot topic in recent months, IPG Mediabrands’ Elijah Harris told Business Insider in a recent interview that advertising on Facebook was now an issue of “brand safety, not political activism.” Another ad-agency source told Business Insider that their agency anticipated a number of other brands to also walk out on Facebook.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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