Written by

Sal Daoud

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What To Do if Advertising on Social Media Becomes Taboo!

March 31, 2021 | 3 minutes

In June 2020 Unilever announced a six month pause on the use of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, just days after Coca Cola announced a 30-day suspension of advertising on all social media platforms.


These two advertising giants were joined by Levi’s and Dockers and more than 1,000 other marketers including North Face, Verizon and Upwork. Most sighting that Facebook has failed to take sufficient steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform,”


With the most recent actions by Social Media companies to censor large audiences of their feeds, some advertisers in 2021 think they may have gone too far in response to last year’s advertising boycotts whilst others think they have not gone far enough.


This month we learned that The Home Depot, a major online advertiser, and Omnicom, the second-largest ad agency holding company, received shareholders’ resolutions demanding that they hire a third-party to investigate whether their ad buys helped fuel “violations of civil or human rights” on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks. *


So, if you are an advertiser thinking about whether to spend your precious marketing funds on social media, what are the top 3 things you need to consider?

  • If social media platforms are going to be scrutinised, advertisers will not be exempt from the same level of scrutiny.
  • What alternatives exist if Facebook and other Social Platforms become taboo for advertising?
  • Can you target potential customers with the same level of granularity as social media?

Consumers will judge advertisers across social media by the standards of the platform

Consumers will judge advertisers across social media by the standards of the platform, meaning if they perceive they platforms are doing the right thing they will support advertisers on the platform however if there is a negative stigma with the content or censorship of the platform it may have negative impacts on the advertiser.


The obvious alternatives to social media are the owned and bought media associated with your Brand. Search Engine Optimisation of your web site and sound targeted paid search ads targeting audiences.


It is possible to achieve refined targeting of your ads using solutions like paid search combined with 1st party audiences and look alike audiences in searches for your product and programmatic advertising supported by 1st and 3rd party data sets to target specific audiences with timely and relevant messages, leading to strong returns on investment of your marketing spend.



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