Ben & Jerry's joins ad boycott to push Facebook, Instagram to combat racism

Ice cream company joins Patagonia, North Face and REI in boycott

Ben & Jerry's has announced it will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram starting July 1 in an effort to push the social media giants to combat racism on their platforms.

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"We will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign," the ice cream company tweeted Tuesday. "Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate.

A Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream shop sign on an exterior store wall in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ben & Jerry’s added in a statement on its website that it stands in solidarity with the NAACP, Color of Change, the Anti-Defamation League and "all those all those calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy."


“We respect any brand’s decision, and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information," vice president of Facebook's Global Business Group, Carolyn Everson, told FOX Business in a statement. "Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.”

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FBFACEBOOK INC.249.87-2.09-0.83%
UNUNILEVER N.V.60.05+0.10+0.16%

A spokesperson for Ben and Jerry's parent company Unilever told FOX Business in a statement that it supports the ice cream company's move.

"Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of activism and collaboration on social justice issues, and has taken a stand with its partners in line with this," the spokesperson said. "We support Ben & Jerry’s as it continues to live its social mission and purpose, as we collectively work towards driving change."

The company added that the "full scale of Unilever is committed to the creation of a safer and trusted digital environment – one that does not tolerate intolerance, hate or racism – for brands, the people we serve and society at large" and that  "any investment we make in any media platform will be shaped by this commitment."

"As a global company, our approach has been and will continue to be to work in partnership to identify issues, offer solutions, and push for meaningful actions," the company added. "While we have had some success and recognize the interventions our digital media partners have put in place such as  establishing clearer community standards, comprehensive policies, protocols and third party audits, we know there is much more work to be done and we will be working with – and pushing -- our partners to deliver the change that is needed."


Ben & Jerry's decision to pull ads from the social media platforms comes just a day after a similar announcement by outdoor apparel company Patagonia. In addition, the North Face, REI and freelancing platform UpWork have all announced decisions to boycott advertising on the platforms as well.

The #StopProfitForHate campaign has produced a set of recommendations for Facebook, including the creation of "a separate moderation pipeline" for users who say they've been targeted due to "specific identity characteristics such as race or religion" and releasing data regarding how many reports of hate speech Facebook receives and the specific actions taken to address them.

The campaign is also demanding the company inform advertisers of how often their ads are shown "next to content that was later removed for misinformation and hate" and provide refunds for those advertisements.


This story, originally published June 23, has been updated to include Unilever's statement.