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Microsoft Reportedly Cuts Facebook/Instagram Advertising

By Eric Volkman – Jun 30, 2020 at 8:42AM

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Although not technically part of the Stop Hate for Profit "pause" campaign, Microsoft recently began to take its ad spending elsewhere.

Microsoft (MSFT -1.48%) is part of a rapidly growing list of big companies pulling their advertising from Facebook (META -3.67%) and its photo-sharing site Instagram, various reports in the media have revealed.

Axios broke the story Monday, citing an internal Microsoft chat transcript it had obtained access to. It quoted the tech giant's chief marketing officer, Chris Capossela, as writing that "[b]ased on concerns we had back in May we suspended all media spending on Facebook/Instagram in the US and we've subsequently suspended all spending on Facebook/Instagram worldwide."

The exact nature of Microsoft's concerns was not specified, although in the transcript, it cited examples of what it considers "inappropriate" material:  "hate speech, pornography, terrorist content, etc."

Microsoft sign at an office complex.

Image source: Microsoft.

Earlier this month, the Stop Hate for Profit activist campaign called on Facebook's advertisers to pause their buying on the company's sites for the month of July. This is in protest against what the group believes is Facebook's refusal "to take responsibility for hate, bias, and discrimination growing on their platforms." The campaign has called for the company to better police what it characterizes as misinformation and hate speech.

A who's who of big-name companies have responded to Stop Hate for Profit's campaign by pulling their Facebook and Instagram ad buys. These include Coca-Cola, Levi's, and Diageo.

It should be noted that Microsoft has not officially joined this campaign.

Last Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted that his company would take more active measures, like policing content that incites violence or contributes to voter suppression. Stop Hate for Profit, however, described these as "meager steps," and so the pause campaign continues.

Microsoft has not yet issued an official statement on the pulling of its Facebook/Instagram advertising.

Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Eric Volkman owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Diageo and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft and short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$237.50 (-1.48%) $-3.57
The Coca-Cola Company Stock Quote
The Coca-Cola Company
$56.57 (-0.72%) $0.41
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$136.41 (-3.67%) $-5.20
Diageo plc Stock Quote
Diageo plc
$169.94 (0.64%) $1.08
Levi Strauss & Co. Stock Quote
Levi Strauss & Co.
$15.54 (-4.25%) $0.69

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