When it comes to ad sales, companies seem to be listening closely to their consumers — a lesson Facebook (FB) is learning the hard way as hundreds of companies pause their advertisements on the platform.
The movement started by the Stop Hate for Profit Campaign, a civil rights coalition that includes ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and NAACP, urges businesses to “hit pause on all advertising spending on Facebook properties in July,” citing that the platform’s “policies and enforcement on hate speech, incitement to violence, and misinformation are astonishingly weak.”
It’s a movement that at least one former Facebook executive has applauded.
“Advertisers who are making that stand is in direct response to consumers who are making that stand,” Thai Randolph, a former employee at Facebook under the Global Marketing Solutions: Agency Partnerships team, told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade this week.
As of Thursday, 414 companies — including Best Buy (BBY), Lululemon (LULU), Walgreens (WBA) and Verizon (VZ) have joined the coalition. While others including Starbucks (SBUX) and Target (TGT) have also pulled its ads from the social media platform, but not formally joined the coalition.
An entrepreneur in her own right, Randolph said that it was “interesting to see the advertising community really leverage their purchasing power to say, ‘Hey, we want to hold you accountable. It just really reminds me of how much responsibility we have to the consumers who are purchasing our products and who are using our platforms.”
The new ‘gatekeepers’
Randolph’s current role is as executive vice president and general manager of comedian Kevin Hart’s “Laugh Out Loud” network. She’s also driving change in a new venture — Sugarberry.
The lifestyle media startup launched back in March with a particular audience in mind — the modern of mother of color.
ABC’s “Mixed-ish” star Tika Sumpter came to her with the idea while she was pregnant with her daughter and looking for resources as a new mom.
Instead of finding answers, she was left wondering “Where is that space for brown and black moms…where are the people telling us where the go-to products, rather than mining other people’s information?”
Randolph quickly realized Sumpter’s idea “was a huge business opportunity.” Through the platform, the duo produce editorial content, live events, a podcast, and recommend products — among other things.
“African Americans have $1.2 trillion dollars of purchasing power in this market,” Randolph told Yahoo Finance, “and the gatekeepers for that are really the black consumer mom.”
Brooke DiPalma is a producer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma.