Unilever is to announce that it will consider withdrawing advertising from Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube, if the online platforms fail to protect minors, promote hate or divide society.
In a speech at the annual Interactive Advertising Bureau conference in Palm Desert, California, Keith Weed, the multinational’s chief marketing officer, plans to announce to the assembled advertising, media and tech companies that Unilever “needs its consumers to have trust in our brands”.
“Unilever will not invest in platforms or environments that do not protect our children or which create division in society, and promote anger or hate,” Keith will say. “We will prioritise investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society.”
“As one of the largest advertisers in the world, we cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online,” Keith Weed will add. “And we cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain – one that delivers over a quarter of our advertising to our consumers – which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency.”
In 2017, Unilever spent £6.8 billion advertising brands including Dove, Persil, Magnum, Cornetto, Marmite and PG Tips, making it the world’s second largest marketing spender to market leader Procter & Gamble. Unilever products are used by 2.5 billion people every day.