Unilever, the maker of consumer goods, is threatening to end its advertising with online giants such as Google and Facebook if they do not protect children, help to prevent the creation of a division in society and hate.
Later on Monday, Keith Weed the CMO of Unilever will say as a brand-led company, Unilever needs consumers to have trust in its brands.
Unilever is the second largest world marketing spender, following just Proctor & Gamble, and spent over €7.7 billion last year for advertising its different brands that include PG Tips, Dove, Persil, and Marmite.
The company cut its advertising as part of its drive to cut costs, has made fewer television ads and has cut the number in half of ad agencies that it uses to just 1,500.
The CMO at Unilever will tell major media, technology and advertising companies that have gathered to attend the Interactive Advertising Bureau conference held in Palm Desert, California that as one of the world’s largest advertisers, it is impossible to be in an environment in which consumers do not trust what they view online.
He will add that Unilever cannot continue propping up a supply chain online, through which is delivers more than 25% of its advertising to consumers that at times is no better than a swamp when it comes to transparency.
Tech companies in Silicon Valley have come under mounting pressure to end online harassment, hate speech, fake political content, and content harmful to children.
In December, Google said it was hiring thousands of moderators after it came under fire for allowing video that depicted child abuse as well as other offensive content to appear on YouTube.
Weed compared the cleaning up of the online supply chain with efforts Unilever made to find new sustainable sources for food ingredients as well as raw materials.
Unilever is not investing in environments or platforms that are not protecting children or that are creating division in our society, and promoting hate or anger, he is planning to say.
He will add that the company will prioritize its investing the responsible platforms committed to the creation of a positive impact for society.
Analysts see this as a big opportunity to take a larger slice of the online advertising markets. Saying that online could become a big driver for future growth in profit for European broadcasters.