BLM boycott delivers 40pc hit to Facebook ad spending
FACEBOOK’S Black Lives Matter boycott caused advertiser spending to crash by more than 40pc in three days, according to new data.
Figures from the marketing analytics firm SocialBakers show the average daily spend in North America dropped from $260 (£207) on June 28 to just $152 on July 1, the first official day of the boycott.
Together with the Blackout Tuesday protest on June 2, boycotts accounted for the biggest single-day drops in spending this year, even including the first panicked months of the coronavirus pandemic.
Both events also cut the average “cost per click” of Facebook adverts in North America by about a third, as a dearth of bidders in its automated auction system drove prices down to levels last seen in March. But spending already appears to be recovering, suggesting that no boycott has yet grown large enough to seriously threaten the company’s bottom line.
Facebook shares fell by as much as 8pc in late June as the boycott picked up major backers such as Unilever and Coca-Cola, but returned to an all-time high on Tuesday.
Although adverts’ cost per click has not yet recovered, Facebook can still prosper while prices are low because many advertisers simply opt to get more mileage from the same level of spending.
SocialBakers’ data are drawn from panels of at least 200 advertisers of various sizes who use its analytics service, providing a proxy for Facebook advertisers as a whole.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, said last week that he believed only a “small per cent” of its revenue was at stake.
Nevertheless, civil rights activists vowed to keep up the boycott after coming away “deeply disappointed” from a meeting with Mr Zuckerberg and his lieutenants on Tuesday.
Yesterday, the company published the results of a two-year self-commissioned audit of its civil rights record.
The audit found “serious setbacks” that had marred the social network’s progress on matters such as hate speech, misinformation and bias.