Disney ‘dramatically’ cuts ad spending on Facebook, Instagram

One of the top Facebook ad spenders Disney has significantly reduced spending on the social network and Instagram amid concerns over the companys inaction over the spread of hateful content on its platforms, the media reported on Sunday.

The media and theme park giant has also paused ads for its news Disney Plus streaming service on Facebook and stopped ads for its Hulu streaming service on Facebook’s Instagram platform, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Disney spent nearly $210 million for Disney Plus ads on Facebook in the US in the first half of 2020. It spent $16 million for Hulu ads on Instagram between April 15 and June 30, said the report.

Facebook reiterated its statement that it has “more work to do” on curbing hate speech.

If Disney’s move is tied to the #StopHateforProfit campaign, it could represent the biggest financial blow yet to Facebook.

Last week, the civil right groups leaders in the US were left disappointed after meeting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg over their concerns related to the spread of hateful content on their platforms.

Sandberg, Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives met online racial justice group Color of Change, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and others who started the #StopHateforProfit campaign in June that has seen over 400 advertisers leaving Facebook in recent days.

Several top-notch brands like Coca Cola, adidas, Walgreens and Starbucks have already pulled their ads from the social network. Microsoft has suspended its advertising on Facebook and Instagram through August.

Sandberg has pledged to root out hateful posts, saying the social network has to get better at finding and removing hateful content.

“Facebook stands firmly against hate. Being a platform where everyone can make their voice heard is core to our mission, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for people to spread hate. It’s not,” she said in an earlier statement.

New Zealand-based news site Stuff has also decided to quit Facebook and its sister platforms amid criticism over its handling of hate speech and misinformation.

Amid the ad pullout, Zuckerberg has shown confidence the brands would soon return on the platform.