As the advertiser boycott of Facebook grows, CEO Mark Zuckerberg advised his employees that he intends to defy the crackdown, and expects companies that pulled advertisements off the social media platform to be back “soon enough.”
As The Information reports, Zuckerberg gave his thoughts on the boycott, which now includes large brands like Starbucks and Coca-Cola, during a video town hall meeting last Friday, according to employees who attended. There, the Facebook CEO said he was reluctant to bow to threats of an advertising boycott, and said the boycott is more of a “reputational and a partner issue” than an economic one.
During the town hall, Zuckerberg reportedly said that “we don’t set our policies because of revenue pressure. You know, we don’t technically set our policies because of any pressure that people apply to us, and, in fact, usually I tend to think that if someone goes out there and threatens you to do something, that actually kind of puts you in a box, where in some ways, it is even harder to do what they want because now, it looks like you’re capitulating and that sets up bad long-term incentives for others to do that as well. And you know, we’ve had a version of this discussion internally where a lot of our best partners now are basically the ones who are engaging with us and offering their feedback and what they have, and those are the folks who we’ll continue to have the most ongoing dialogue with.”
“Bottom line is, we’re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue.”
.@alexeheath got a transcript of Zuckerberg’s internal comments about the advertiser boycott. He said a lot, including the below.
— Amir Efrati (@amir) July 1, 2020
One possible reason for Zuckerberg’s defiance is that as the WSJ pointed out, “even if the companies boycotting Facebook for July abandoned the service in the US forever, their entire share of Facebook’s global revenue is represented by this tiny blue square.”
With that, the feud between advertisers and Facebook comes is at an impasse, with the world’s biggest social network unwilling to make material concession, which now means that either those advertisers who were quick to jump on the virtue signaling bandwagon will have to quietly fold, risking even greater reputational damage, or forego one of the most widely trafficked online media outlets, which would mean even more ad spending for Google.