The drinks companies halting social media advertising

Spirits groups Brown-Forman and Beam Suntory have joined Diageo in pausing their social media advertising this month.

The companies’ announcements came just over a week after six campaign groups called on Facebook advertisers to pause their spending on the network during the month of July. The organisations included the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Anti-Defamation League, Colour of Change, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Common Sense and Free Press.

Beam Suntory said it has joined the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, adding its Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US would be suspended this month.

In a statement, the company said: “We stand up for what’s right, and we stand with all who are committed to the fight against hate speech, racism and prejudice. That’s why Beam Suntory is joining #StopHateForProfit, pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US across our brand portfolio throughout July.

“We hope this collective action helps catalyse positive change and accountability, and we will evaluate our advertising approach beyond July as we await Facebook’s response.”

Brown-Forman also said it would stop advertising its brands on Facebook and Instagram, reports our sister site The Spirits Business.

“Respect is at the core of who we are and how we operate,” the company said.

“Brown-Forman is taking time to pause and reflect upon how we, along with our media partners, can be better and do better. During this time, we reiterate our belief that more can and should be done to address inequality, hate, and racism.”

Diageo said it would stop spending money on social media advertising from 1 July, as large corporations have started rethinking their relationships with platforms that do not adequately regulate misinformation.

The company, which makes Smirnoff vodka, said it will pause paid advertising globally on “major social media platforms” from July, in reaction to what it called “unacceptable content” appearing near the company’s ads.

On 30 June, mixer maker Britvic, which also owns J2O, said it would suspending all advertising on Facebook, and called on the social media platform to “take stronger actions against harmful content and misinformation on its platform”

Constellation Brands has committed to investing US$100 million in black and minority-owned drinks companies over the next decade, as part of a wider movement to support people of colour in the wake of the death of African-American George Floyd and the widespread protests against police brutality in the US.

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