Unilever says it will pull advertising from platforms with “toxic online content”


Unilever is a British-Dutch consumer goods company co-headquartered in London and Rotterdam. The company makes everything from household cleaning products to food and beverages. According to Wikipedia, Unilever is the world’s largest consumer goods company measured by 2012 revenue. The company is the 7th most valuable company in Europe and its products are available in 190 countries around the world. So when it says it plans on pulling advertising from certain platforms, well, people listen.

Unilever started out by denouncing what it describes as “toxic online content” on networks run by Facebook and Google. There is little doubt in many people’s minds that some of this has to do with the Logan Paul situation Google’s YouTube has been wrestling with. Last week, YouTube suspended all advertising from Paul’s channel after he posted a video of himself using a taser on a dead rat.

In a speech to be delivered later Monday, of which AFP has been given extracts, Weed added that “fake news, sexism, terrorists that spread messages of hate, toxic content directed at children … is a million miles from where we thought this would take us.”

Unilever “will prioritise investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact on society,” Weed said in his keynote address to be given at a conference in Palm Desert, California.

“It is critical that our brands remain not only in a safe environment, but a suitable one.”

“Unilever, as a trusted advertiser, do not want to advertise on platforms which do not make a positive contribution to society,” Weed said.

According to AFP, Unilever spent 7.7 billion euros on marketing and advertising last year alone. It’s no wonder YouTube and other platforms are taking a look inward to make sure they’re not turning off advertisers.

“It is in the digital media industry’s interest to listen and act on this. Before viewers stop viewing, advertisers stop advertising and publishers stop publishing.”

What do you think of Unilever’s move? Tell us in the comments below, or on Google+Twitter, or Facebook.

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