Hundreds of companies around the world have joined a temporary boycott of advertising against Facebook Inc. but its chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, says he is not worried and has no intention of changing his policies, according to a new report.
“I think all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon.”
Zuckerberg said the boycott is more a PR issue than an issue that will hurt the social media giant’s bottom line, according to a report published Wednesday by The Information, which quotes a transcript of remarks Zuckerberg made Friday at an employee-only online town hall.
“We’re not going to change our policies or our approach on anything because of a threat to a small percentage of our revenue, or any percentage of our revenue,” he said, according to The Information.
While making headlines, the boycott only involves a tiny fraction of Facebook’s 8 million or so advertisers. The company derives almost all of its revenue from advertising.
The #StopHateForProfit campaign was launched last month by civil rights groups, calling on major corporations to stop spending on Facebook advertising for the month of July to protest the company’s inability to curb hate speech, threats of violence and misinformation on its platform.
Part of Friday’s virtual town hall was streamed to the public from Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, where he announced some policy changes to crack down on hate content and misinformation about votes. But he would have been more direct in his private remarks to employees, saying that Facebook would not give in to pressure.
“You know, we don’t technically define our policies because of the pressure that people put on us,” he said, according to The Information. “In fact, I tend to think that if somebody threatens to do something, it puts you in a situation where, in some ways, it’s even harder to do what they want because it seems like you’re surrendering, and that makes it harder for others to do the same”
Experts told MarketWatch on Wednesday that companies joining the boycott could see their brands receive more support than Facebook ads would have generated initially.
“By removing the ads, they are saving money and making a low-risk statement that translates into positive advertising and marketing for their brands to voters,” Gerard Francis Corbett, a communications strategy consultant based in Silicon Valley, told MarketWatch. “The Facebook boycott is a less risky way for CEOs to make a [political] statement
Earlier this week, Rohit Kulkarni, executive director of MKM Partners, wrote in a note to customers that the ad boycott would affect less than 5% of Facebook’s revenues.
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the number of votes on the S&P 500 rose by nearly 5% on Wednesday, and is up about 16% year-to-date, compared to the S&P 500