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Coca Cola gives up on social media advertising entirely

Coca Cola said Friday that it will be removing its millions of dollars in advertising from all social media platforms completely for the next 30 days. The company said the move is not part of the growing number of advertisers boycotting Facebook over its content moderation policies, but “time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed.”

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” said Coca Cola CEO and Chairman James Quincey in a statement to CNBC.

When asked if they would join the over 100 other advertisers, including many household names, like cellular provider Verizon, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, as well as retailers North Face, Patagonia, and REI, in the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, the company declined, but instead said “we are pausing.”

Coke Bottle Cap Red Background
Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

After a tumultuous week of companies announcing plans to abandon Facebook for the month of July in a growing boycott, founder Mark Zuckerberg seemingly caved to the pressure, announcing Friday that the social media platform will begin “prohibiting a wider category of hateful content in ads.” But it is clear the changes Zuckerberg announced are not enough — his company has come under fire for allowing racist or hateful content, along with posts from politicians like President Donald Trump that other social networks have blocked or labeled as “glorifying violence.”

Coca Cola’s statement Friday lines up with the mission of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, but the company decidedly failed to align itself with it.

Coca Cola spends an average of $4 billion on advertising every year. If the company plans to take social media out of the equation for 30 days globally, it will be interesting to see where they choose to spend that money. Television ads? Or perhaps billboards? Maybe it will spend the extra cash on digital fur technology for its iconic computer-generated polar bears.

Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
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