Coca-Cola halts all paid social media advertising for 30 days

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Coca-Cola is pulling all paid social media advertisements for 30 days, saying “there is no place for racism on social media,” CEO James Quincey said in a statement on Friday.

Why it matters: Although Coca-Cola does not single out Facebook in its announcement, the company’s decision to temporarily pull ads comes as Hershey’s, Verizon, Unilever and other brands have joined a boycott of the social network over its content moderation policies.

  • Companies taking public stands have criticized how Facebook polices misinformation about Black Lives Matter protests and handles content posted by President Trump.

Driving the news: Facebook announced Friday it would begin labeling posts that break its rules, but are deemed “newsworthy” — for instance, because they come from public figures, Axios’ Margaret Harding McGill reports.

  • The company previously let figures like Trump freely post material that appeared to violate policies around issues like targeted harassment and hate speech.

What they’re saying: “There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” Quincey said in a statement on Friday. “The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days. We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”

  • “We are hopeful that Facebook will take action and make it a safe space for our consumers to communicate and gather,” Hershey’s chief marketing officer told Business Insider on Friday, when it announced it was pulling ads from the social media site.

The other side: “We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies. We’ve opened ourselves up to a civil rights audit, and we have banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram,” Facebook said in a statement emailed to Axios.

  • “The investments we have made in AI mean that we find nearly 90% of Hate Speech we action before users report it to us, while a recent EU report found Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube. We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight,” Facebook said.

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