The Facebook Ad Boycott
Director, Digital Strategy
June 30, 2020
Earlier this month, civil rights coalitions including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) launched their #StopHateforProfit campaign. This campaign asks major corporations to pause advertising dollars on Facebook and Instagram in July to support the movement, in addition to several other recommendations that can be reviewed at stophateforprofit.org.
Across the world, some organizations are choosing to pause Facebook and Instagram media spend to honor the movement. As this movement gains momentum, we wanted to provide our opinion as it relates to potential results for each decision to best inform our partners and the higher education industry.
Hitting pause on July 1
Choosing to pause your ads (even temporarily) would give you an opportunity to evaluate the market and consumer response toward organizations that choose to continue to advertise during this time. If you choose to pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram, we would highly encourage you to shift any allocated spend to other channels to assist with maintaining lead volume.
For many organizations, Facebook provides higher lead volume at a cheaper cost-per-lead (CPL) than leads received through other marketing and advertising channels. We suggest that colleges and universities weigh the potential impact based on the timing of your upcoming recruitment cycle, current objectives and priorities, and a variety of other factors.
Staying visible on Facebook and Instagram
Choosing not to pause ads on Facebook and Instagram would allow you to continue to potentially maintain consistent lead volume. If this boycott doesn’t impact the amount of time people spend on Facebook and Instagram, there will likely be an increase in available ad inventory (similar to what we’ve seen during COVID-19) that would allow for potentially higher lead volumes at an even lower CPL.
However, there is a potential for consumer backlash during this time. We would recommend to be prepared with an action plan to address comments and/or pause campaigns if things escalate. These are unprecedented times for a variety of reasons with a lot of key decisions that need to be made.
We hope that the insights we have shared on the Facebook ad boycott will make it easier for you to navigate the quickly evolving media landscape.
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