Unilever will halt U.S. ads on Facebook, Twitter through 2020

A smartphone showing the Facebook logo is held in front of a laptop showing the Facebook logo.
Unilever has said it will not advertise on Facebook or Twitter for the rest of the year.
(Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images)

Unilever will halt U.S. ads on Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. for the rest of the year, citing hate speech and polarized politics as the key reasons for its decision.

“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society,” the consumer group said in an emailed statement. “We will be monitoring ongoing and will revisit our current position if necessary.”

Facebook shares fell as much as 7.3%, while Twitter shares fell as much as 8.2%. Facebook has been telling advertisers that it bases its policies on principles, not business interests, according to its communications with marketers.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has been reaching out to advertisers to discuss its recent initiatives on registering voters and distributing verified election information. Unilever joins other companies including its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s as well as Verizon Communications Inc. and Patagonia in pulling ads from some of the world’s largest social media platforms due to inaction over hate speech.