Unilever Will Pull Funds from Social Media That ‘Breed Division’
Unilever will stop spending on digital platforms that “breed division in society or fail to protect children,” Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed plans to announce in a speech to the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert, Calif., on Monday.
The move takes the industry’s brand-safety debate a step beyond trying to police what appears directly next to ads and toward a broader effort by a big marketer to reshape social media. It also represents a shift in tone for Weed, who in the past year largely has played the good cop to rival Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard’s bad cop on digital accountability issues.
Pritchard, little more than a year ago at the same IAB forum, threatened to cut off spending by the world’s biggest advertiser on digital platforms that didn’t ensure brand safety or provide accredited third-party audience verification. Citing industry progress, Pritchard says he largely hasn’t had to follow through on that threat, though P&G remains off of YouTube pending full satisfaction with brand-safety improvements there.