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CMO Today: Facebook Gets (Some) Boycotters Back

Email sent: Jul 31, 2020 7:40am

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The Wall Street Journal.
CMO Journal Report.
Sponsored by   Deloitte Logo    Read Deloitte Insights

Facebook Gets (Some) Boycotters Back; Google Ad Sales Fall for the First Time; Coca-Cola Makes a Booze Move

By Nat Ives

 

PHOTO: JEENAH MOON/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Good morning. Some advertisers that left Facebook for July to protest the proliferation of hate speech on its platforms say they are coming back—but others say they’re extending the one-month boycott into August at least.

North Face, arguably the first widely known brand to join the campaign, said it would resume doing business with Facebook in August. So did boycotters including Heineken, Puma, Vans and Pernod Ricard. “We are encouraged by the initial progress and recognize that change doesn’t happen overnight,” a spokeswoman for North Face told CMO Today.

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But other boycotters called Facebook’s moves insufficient and said they would continue to stay away. They include J.M. Smucker, Beam Suntory, Eddie Bauer, SAP and Boston Beer Co.

And advertisers that paused their Facebook spending for longer periods or without a set return date, such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Chipotle and Verizon, said they aren’t ready to come back.

Related: Facebook powered through the throes of the pandemic, as the social-media giant’s revenue rose in the second quarter thanks to increased engagement from users. [WSJ

 

Quotable

“We preserved our marketing firepower for a time when we expect it would have the most impact.”

— Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley on the brewer’s planned increase in ad spending during the second half of the year, after slashing it earlier in the pandemic
 

A First for Google

The Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., this week. PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

The coronavirus pandemic forced Google’s digital ad business into a quarterly decline for the first time in company history.

Google said second-quarter ad sales fell $2.6 billion from the quarter a year earlier, as some of its biggest advertisers, including travel companies and consumer brands, cut spending amid economic uncertainty.

Advertising steadily improved throughout the quarter, executives said on the earnings call. But they weren’t ready to proclaim victory, the Journal’s Rob Copeland reports. “We do believe it’s premature to say we are out of the woods,” said Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat.

Elsewhere in tech: Amazon profits doubled to a record $5.2 billion in the second quarter. [WSJ

 

The Magic Number

10 million

Streaming customers signed up so far for Peacock, the streaming service introduced by NBCU earlier this month 

 

Now Coca-Cola Has a Hard Seltzer Too

PHOTO: COCA-COLA

Coca-Cola is ready to take on White Claw.

The company will introduce a spiked version of its Topo Chico sparkling water to the United States next year, plunging into the U.S. alcohol industry for the first time in decades.

The company once owned a wine business, but sold that in 1983. Two years ago it started selling a fizzy, lemon-flavored alcoholic drink in Japan called Lemon-Do, the Journal’s Jennifer Maloney reports.

News of the new product was reported first by Beverage Digest.

 

Best of the Rest

PHOTO: NIKE VIA YOUTUBE

Nike used the NBA’s return to debut a spot that takes pandemic-era archival-footage ads to another level, cutting 72 sports sequences into 36 split-screen moments. [Muse by Clio]

BuzzFeed started selling products directly to consumers, no affiliate links required. [WSJ

WPP released data on the diversity of the agency holding company's U.S. workforce and announced a new inclusion council. [Ad Age

With international travel ground to a halt, global luxury brands’ battle for Chinese consumers is moving to China. [WSJ

Electronic Arts reported the strongest June quarter sales in the videogame company’s 38-year history. [WSJ]

The hackers behind the high-profile online break-in at Twitter this month talked their way onto the company’s network using the telephone. [WSJ]

 
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About Us

We bring you the most important (and intriguing) marketing news every day. Write me at nat.ives@wsj.com any time with feedback on the newsletter or comments on specific items. We want to hear from you.

And follow the CMO Today team on Twitter: @wsjCMO, @natives, @alexbruell, @sizpatel.
 
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