Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than 400 major advertisers, including Unilever, CVS, and Verizon, have pulled their ads from Facebook and Instagram as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign organized by advocacy groups including Color for Change, NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, and Sleeping Giants.

Why it matters: The ease with which the campaign has signed up advertisers is only in part a function of its intrinsic merits. It's clear that brand advertisers and their agencies kinda wanted to make this move anyway.

Background: Agencies have been reconsidering their social-media spending for years. Procter & Gamble cut $100 million from its digital marketing spend in 2017 and said it saw "little impact on its business," while Adidas admitted last year that it had "over-invested" in digital.

How it works: It's normally impossible for an agency to persuade a client to turn off social entirely, even if they would love to do that just to see what effect it has. But when turning off social comes with an easy PR win, while staying on Facebook is a PR loss, then the conversation becomes a lot easier.

  • Marketing budgets are being slashed anyway as a quiet summer approaches. Cutting one huge line item is more elegant than trying to find savings in many different places.

The bottom line: Most agencies working for large brands will admit that they often wonder just what they're getting out of their social-media ad expenditure. This boycott gives them a perfect opportunity to find out.

Go deeper: As boycott grows, Facebook juggles rights groups and advertisers

Go deeper

Sep 15, 2020 - Technology

Kim Kardashian to freeze Facebook, Instagram accounts in #StopHateForProfit effort

Photo: Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Kim Kardashian West announced that she will join two dozen celebrities in temporarily freezing their Instagram and Facebook accounts on Wednesday because the platforms "continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation — created by groups to sow division and split America apart."

Why it matters: The announcement from such a high-profile user is likely to be a PR disaster for Instagram and Facebook, as well as a boost to the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Kardashian West is the seventh-most followed account on Instagram with 188 million followers. She currently has 30 million followers on Facebook.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Wall Street fears stimulus is doomed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fight over a new Supreme Court justice will take Washington's partisan bickering to a new level and undermine any chance for needed coronavirus relief measures before November's election, Wall Street analysts say.

What we're hearing: "With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, the level of rhetorical heat has increased, if that seemed even possible," Greg Staples, head of fixed income for the Americas at DWS Group, tells Axios in an email.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 31,346,086 — Total deaths: 965,294— Total recoveries: 21,518,790Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,858,130 — Total deaths: 199,890 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

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