Last week, an ad executive at Mediabrands, a large ad-buying firm owned by Interpublic Group of Cos. said on LinkedIn that it was time for marketers to hold Facebook’s leadership team accountable.
Facebook “must rethink how to curb the spread of content that incites violence and leads to divisive discourse,” wrote Elijah Harris, senior vice president of paid social at Mediabrands’ Reprise. He called for marketers and ad agencies to commit to reallocating the spending that would traditionally go to Facebook to partners that better align with the values of their companies. Mr. Harris’s post was reported earlier by Business Insider.
In an interview, Mr. Harris said the way Facebook handled Mr. Trump’s posts was the “tipping point” that made him speak out.
Mr. Harris said he doesn’t speak on behalf of his ad agency. Mediabrands said it isn’t advising clients to pull their dollars from Facebook. Instead, the ad-buying firm said it recently developed a list of principles it is sharing with its clients to hold the entire media industry to a higher standard “that stops racial injustice and elevates the conversation,” said Joshua Lowcock, global brand safety officer at Mediabrands. The agency’s clients include Coca-Cola Co., Johnson & Johnson and Amazon.com Inc.
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