Social Media Vs. The Trust Economy

Pick up a copy of Forbes ‘World’s Most Valuable Brands List’ and it’s easier to name the behemoths in the top 100 that haven’t curtailed social media ad spend for Zuckerberg et als failure to take tangible steps to prohibit hate speech.

The #StopHateForProfit campaign, part of a much wider social movement, is gaining broad traction on newspaper front pages and business periodicals alike, where silence equates to complicity. Notwithstanding the sting on revenue, having a flurry of press releases from trusted brands admonishing one’s practices is never a good look.

The coalition of brands may all be checking ad spend, but they exult differing reasons and timescales; some have pulled its ads for a month; some are on an indefinite pause, and others have included Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube on its blacklist.

CPG giant Coca-Cola, with a purported annual advertising spend of $4BN has ceased ads for at least a month on all social media channels stating, “We will let them know we expect greater accountability, action and transparency from them.” Mark Zuckerberg might preen that “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,” but this does feel like a tipping point for how brands connect to consumers.

While there is no clear consensus on if and when brands will return, issues of transparency, ROI and brand reputation have diminished faith in not only Facebook, but also its bedfellows for all-too-long.

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