Maker of Marmite Threatens to Stop Ads on Google and Facebook

Unilever Will Pull Funds from Social Media That 'Breed Division'

"We can not have an environment where our consumers don't trust what they see online", said Unilever's chief marketing officer Keith Weed.

This is about "having a positive impact on society and whether we as a company want to engage with companies that are not committed to making a positive impact", Weed said in an interview.

"We can not continue to prop up a digital supply chain ... which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency", Unilever marketing boss Keith Weed will say, according to copy of his speech obtained by CNN.

Unilever is the second largest world marketing spender, following just Proctor & Gamble, and spent over €7.7 billion a year ago for advertising its different brands that include PG Tips, Dove, Persil, and Marmite.

The CMO at Unilever will tell major media, technology and advertising companies that have gathered to attend the Interactive Advertising Bureau conference held in Palm Desert, California that as one of the world's largest advertisers, it is impossible to be in an environment in which consumers do not trust what they view online.

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The consumer goods multinational Unilever is threatening to withdraw its advertising from online platforms such as Facebook and Google if they fail to protect children, promote hate or create division in society.

And in a direct attack on Facebook, which aims to verify third-party providers to try and clamp down on spreading of fake news, he will add: "Consumers don't care about third-party verification".

Weed's planned remarks emphasize the need for consumers to trust Unilever brands, saying that goal is at odds with the current atmosphere of mistrust on the Internet.

Weed plans to cite research showing trust in social media is at an all-time low worldwide because of "a perceived lack of focus by technology companies in stopping illegal, unethical and extremist behavior and materials on their platforms", Unilever says. In regards to Facebook, Mr Weed said the company has taken some positive steps at trying to alleviate the fake issue, but there is "more to do".

Weed's warning comes at a time when many tech companies are under scrutiny for facilitating the spread of misinformation. "They do care about fraudulent practice, fake news and Russians influencing the USA election". Last month, said that it would have humans review every second of video that is included in its Preferred program, which is a subset of videos that are among the most popular and which marketers pay a premium to advertise alongside.

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