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Dove is a Unilever brand. Photo: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Corporate behemoth Unilever is threatening to stop advertising on digital platforms like Facebook and Google, blasting them for spreading fake news and divisive content, CNN reports, citing a copy of a speech that Unilever chief marketing officer Keith Weed will deliver Monday.

"We cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain ... which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency."
— Keith Weed, Unilever's chief marketing officer

It's worth noting that Mark Pritchard of Procter & Gamble threatened the same thing — to pull ad dollars from Google and Facebook — a year ago. Per Axios' Sara Fischer, marketers say they are done working with the platforms because of brand safety issues, yet they continue to spend more and more advertising dollars on these companies, which led them to record earnings last quarter.

Our thought bubble: The efficiency of these platforms has become unrivaled due to the massive amounts of data they've been able to collect over years of under regulation. Now, even if marketers say they know these platforms aren't brand-safe, it's hard for some of them to fully abandon them, because they provide such a high return on investment.

More from Weed's speech...

  • "This is not something that can brushed aside or ignored."
  • "2018 is either the year of techlash, where the world turns on the tech giants — and we have seen some of this already — or the year of trust. The year where we collectively rebuild trust back in our systems and our society."

The stakes: Unilever has an annual marketing budget of $9.8 billion, and 25% of its ads are digital.

Just a few of Unilever's U.S. brands: Dove, Hellman's, Lipton, Ben and Jerry's, Vaseline, Q-Tips, and Popsicle.

Go deeper: The techlash has just begun.

Go deeper

Virginia lawmakers vote to legalize marijuana in 2024

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Virginia on Saturday approved compromise legislation that would legalize marijuana in 2024, putting the state a step closer to becoming the first in the South to end prohibition on the drug, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Why it matters: The legislation will make Virginia the 16th state to legalize marijuana, per Politico. It would add to a slate of laws that have seen Virginia move in a more progressive direction during the tenure of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Scammers seize on COVID confusion

Data: FTC; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Scamming has skyrocketed in the past year, and much of the increase is attributed to COVID-related scams, more recently around vaccines.

Why it matters: The pandemic has created a prime opportunity for scammers to target people who are already confused about the chaotic rollouts of things like stimulus payments, loans, contact tracing and vaccines. Data shows that older people who aren't digitally literate are the most vulnerable.

12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.