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Starbucks is the latest company to pause social media ads

CNET logo CNET 6/29/2020 Michelle Meyers
a sign in front of a building: Starbucks might be open for business, but not to advertising on social networks, for awhile anyway. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET © Provided by CNET Starbucks might be open for business, but not to advertising on social networks, for awhile anyway. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Starbucks on Sunday joined a growing list of companies boycotting ads on social networks in a stand against hate speech on the platforms.

"We believe more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities and we believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change," Starbucks said in a brief statement announcing it will pause advertising on all social media platforms.

Starbucks didn't specify how long it would stop advertising, only that it will do so as it continues, "discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech."

The coffee giant is just the latest major advertiser to make such an announcement in a movement that started as a July boycott of Facebook advertising, called Stop Hate for Profit, organized by civil rights groups and others. As of Sunday, that campaign includes more than 160 companies, Jim Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, told Reuters. Common Sense Media is one of the groups that launched the campaign, which is starting to call on companies in Europe to join in.

a sign on the side of a building: Starbucks might be open for business, but not to advertising on social networks, for awhile anyway. © Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Starbucks might be open for business, but not to advertising on social networks, for awhile anyway.

Starbucks is not joining the Stop Hate for Profit boycott, a spokesperson confirmed. Rather, is one of several major companies launching its own effort that goes beyond Facebook.

Consumer packaged goods giant Unilever, for example, on Friday announced that pausing advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the US at least through the end of the year. Soon after, Coca-Cola announced a similar effort, expanding its boycott to YouTube as well. On Saturday, spirits company Diageo added that it'll pause paid advertising globally on major social media platforms starting July 1.

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