social media advertising

Pernod Ricard takes steps to stop hate speech online

July 2, 2020
By Alana House

Pernod Ricard has announced it plans to create a crowdsourcing app that gives consumers and those affected by hate speech on social media the power to identify and report content they find objectionable directly to brands and companies.

Brands can then leverage their influence with social media platforms to help ensure the content is reviewed and removed, if warranted. The app will be an additional resource for individuals, brands and social media platforms to use in the fight to stop hate speech online.

It follows on from companies including Coca-Cola and Diageo halting their paid social media advertising globally amid concerns over content moderation.

The decision is a result of a #StopHateForProfit movement regarding the handling of hate speech and misinformation online.

The Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense asked “large Facebook advertisers to show they will not support a company that puts profit over safety.” 

Advertisers are asking Facebook to more stringently police hate speech and disinformation by taking actions including creating a “separate moderation pipeline” for users who say they’ve been targeted because of their race or religion, or to let advertisers see how frequently their ads appeared near to content that was later removed for misinformation or hate, and allow them refunds for those advertisements. 

Usain Bolt Mumm

“The world is waking up to the reality that we all have a role to play in stopping the spread of hate speech, racism and misinformation on social media platforms,” said Pernod Ricard USA CEO Ann Mukherjee. “There is a long way to go. Movements like #StopHateForProfit are demonstrating that brands and consumers want them to take more urgent action.

“This is important, and it is why we are joining the movement for the next 30 days across all paid social media platforms, not just Facebook. But this is not sufficient. The big question is: What happens August 1st? We need more action and more people within the industry to find more solutions.

“Companies like ours can and should play a bigger role in problem-solving than just withholding advertising dollars. We can create tools that make it easier for consumers’ voices to be heard when they see hate speech spreading online. And that’s what we are doing.”

The app will allow consumers and brands to collaborate with one another to drive real change. Individuals affected by hate speech will be able to flag content they find objectionable directly to brands and companies. Brands can then leverage their influence to help ensure social media platforms take appropriate action. The app creates a space for collaboration between consumers and brands. It also creates a space for collaboration between brands and social media platforms. 

Why Diageo & Coca-Cola are pausing advertising

Diageo released a statement saying it “strives to promote inclusion and diversity, including through our marketing campaigns”.

“From July 1 we will pause all paid advertising globally on major social media platforms. We will continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content.”

Diageo also stopped advertising on YouTube in 2017 following revelations that pedophiles were making inappropriate comments on videos uploaded by children to the site.

Coca-Cola is pause all paid social media advertising globally “for at least 30 days”.

James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, said: “There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media.

“We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”

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