Facebook Used Delta To Woo Advertisers, But Now The Airline Is Boycotting The Company, Too
Verizon. Best Buy. Coca-Cola. Ben & Jerry’s. The list of from Facebook in response to the platform’s inaction toward hate speech and misinformation continues to grow.
You can now add another big company to the list: Delta.
The second largest airline in the world is pausing its advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
“Delta’s policy of zero tolerance towards racist, bigoted, or hateful acts or statements extends to our people, our customers, and the companies with which we do business,” the company said in a statement.
The airliner’s ad pause is particularly notable, as Facebook was just promoting its advertising relationship with Delta a week ago. According to the , the social media giant put together an “upbeat presentation” for advertisers last Tuesday, just days after the first companies announced they had to the boycott campaign. Delta was one of the advertisers they showcased for the posts the airline ran during the pandemic.
Delta did not specify whether it was officially signing on to the campaign, the boycott organized by civil rights groups like the NAACP and the ADL. The airline is not currently on the #StopHateForProfit website, as the previously mentioned companies are. But companies are addressing the matter in an array of different ways. Starbucks, for example, has also announced it would pause its Facebook ads, but stated it was the specific campaign.
Nestlé, another major Facebook advertiser, told me it was not joining the boycot at all, at least at this time.
“We are not pausing our social advertising activity at this stage, because a boycott will not solve the concerns we all share about hate speech and offensive digital content,” a company spokesperson told me in a statement. “That said, while conversations have been constructive so far, we are closely tracking any progress and action. Depending on how the situation progresses, we will continue to evaluate our plans for the remainder of the year accordingly.”
“Without a doubt, more needs to be done to end hate speech online, and we are actively engaged with Facebook, other platforms, and the broader industry to accelerate action and demand accountability,” the statement said.
Another major airliner, Southwest Airlines, also reached out to state that the company is “diligently discussing the Facebook boycott” and “still determining next steps.”
While almost a third of Facebook’s advertisers are currently weighing participation in the boycott, some of the biggest brands that advertise on the social network have about the campaign. pointed out that even some companies that have pledged to pause Facebook ad campaigns are utilizing a workaround by still advertising via the social media companies mobile in-app Audience Network.
I reached out to dozens of big brand advertisers that Facebook has explicitly as “success stories” on its Facebook for Business platform. So far only Delta, Nestlé, and Southwest Airlines have replied. I will update this post when I hear back from others.
The ad boycott begins on July 1. The official #StopHateForProfit campaign is planned to last a month, although some companies plan to pause their Facebook ads for even longer.