Ecco USA Pulls Ads on Facebook and Instagram

Samantha McDonald

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Ecco’s United States arm has joined an expanding list of companies that are boycotting Facebook and Instagram.

In a statement to FN, the shoe manufacturer — which is based in Denmark — confirmed its decision to halt all paid U.S. advertisements on the social media platforms through at least the end of July over the sites’ purported failure to curb hate speech and disinformation. The move, it said, was effective immediately.

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“We are deeply committed to contributing to a digital environment that is free from hate speech, discrimination and misinformation,” Ecco USA wrote. “We are asking Facebook to take stronger steps to make sure the public space of digital exchanges can be trusted to be truthful and respectful.”

Facebook and subsidiary Instagram came under fire last month when a coalition of civil rights organizations — including The Anti-Defamation League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense — launched an initiative called “Stop Hate for Profit,” criticizing tech companies for “not doing enough to fight hate on their platforms.”

“We are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July,” the group wrote on its website.

The effort led a number of companies to, at least temporarily, exit advertising on the platforms: On June 19, two days after the #StopHateForProfit campaign was launched, The North Face became the first major consumer brand to take the stance, followed by fellow outdoor names REI and Patagonia. Since then, leading businesses across industries — including Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Verizon — as well as fashion and footwear names from Eddie Bauer and Eileen Fisher to Adidas and Reebok have paused marketing and promotion on the sites.

Amid mounting pressure, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on June 26 that the social media giant would crack down on hate speech in ads by expanding its policy to “prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others.” This policy, he added, would also apply to “immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.”

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