According to the annual reports, the consumer goods company, Unilever, spent more than $9 billion last year advertising its products with more than $2.4 billion spent on digital advertising. Unilever is one of the world’s biggest spenders on advertising and has threatened to pull all advertising from online platforms that allow fake news, hate speech and divisive content.
Keith Weed, chief marketing officer at Unilever, will talk to the technology industry to improve transparency and consumer trust which is now tarred by fake news and “toxic” online content.
Weed said in his speech at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert that the parts of the internet, which was thought to take us forward is filled with fake news, sexism, racism, toxic content directed at children, terrorists spreading messages of hate, and he added that it is the digital media industry’s responsibility to listen and act on it before viewers stop viewing, advertisers stop advertising and publishers stop publishing. He also added that the company is fed up with its ads running alongside terrorist videos or content that fails to protect children.
Google and Facebook control 60 percent of online ad spending, according to eMarketer, and thus have come under scrutiny and backlash for being too slag when it comes to policing their content to make sure it is not bot-driven.
Google has already come under fire from companies that discovered their ads were being shown alongside objectionable videos on its YouTube video platform.
Facebook had also faced criticism for allowing fake news, filter bubbles, foreign election meddling and social media addiction.
Unilever itself was heavily criticized last year for a Dove advert on Facebook that many saw as racist.