Ben & Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen (L) and Jerry Greenfield (R) serve ice cream following a press conference announcing a new flavor, Justice Remix’d, September 03, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images
Ben & Jerry’s said on Tuesday that it will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the U.S. beginning on July 1, joining the “#StopHateForProfit” campaign.
Last week, a group of six organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sleeping Giants and Color of Change, called on Facebook advertisers to halt their spending on the social media platform during the month of July. They’re asking large brands “to show they will not support a company that puts profit over safety.”
“Ben & Jerry’s stands with our friends at the NAACP and Color of Change, the ADL, and all those calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy,” the ice cream maker, which is owned by Unilever, said in a blog post.
The campaign Ben & Jerry’s is joining has produced a set of recommendations for Facebook. The group wants the company to create a “separate moderation pipeline” for users who say they’ve been targeted because of characteristics like their race or religion and to let advertisers see how frequently their ads popped up “next to content that was later removed for misinformation or hate.”
Ben & Jerry’s said it’s asking Facebook “to take the clear and unequivocal actions called for by the campaign to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate.” Ben & Jerry’s, which has locations around the globe, didn’t immediately return a request for comment on whether it spends substantially outside the U.S.
Canadian outdoor brand Arc’teryx said earlier on Tuesday that it was pausing global advertising on Facebook and Instagram and “donating those dollars towards building more inclusive outdoors.”
Eddie Bauer made a similar statement Tuesday.
Earlier in June, following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer, Ben & Jerry’s, laid out several policy proposals calling for equal justice, including the creation of a national task force to draft bipartisan legislation to stop race-based violence and check the power of police.
“What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning,” the earlier statement said.
Unilever didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the announcement from Ben & Jerry’s. A company executive told the Wall Street Journal this week that it wasn’t prepared to take such drastic action against Facebook. “Walking away is not the solution at this stage,” the Unilever executive said.