REI is the latest in a growing list of brands that are pulling their advertisements from Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.
The outdoor retailer announced its decision on Twitter Friday night, in response to American civil-rights groups like the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League boycotting the social media platform. The organizations are encouraging brands to pull advertising for the month of July to protest the company’s failure to make the platforms less hostile environments.
On June 17, the civil rights groups (which also include Sleeping Giants, Color of Change and Free Press and Common Sense) announced its Stop Hate For Profit campaign, taking out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times urging brands to follow their lead: “Today, we are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July,” the ad reads. “Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.”
In its own announcement REI wrote, “For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We’re pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July. #StopHateForProfit,” before linking to StopHateForProfit.org. The news came the night of June 19, which is the date of Juneteeth, a celebration of the end of slavery in the U.S. that is now a paid holiday for companies like Nike, Target and J.C. Penney.
The North Face also announced its decision to join the initiative Friday morning.
”Effective June 19, The North Face is halting all U.S. paid advertising with Facebook until stricter policies are put in place to stop racist, violent or hateful content and misinformation from circulating on the platform,” a company statement said. “We know that for too long harmful, racist rhetoric and misinformation has made the world unequal and unsafe, and we stand with the NAACP and the other organizations who are working to #StopHateforProfit.”
The athletic and outdoor brand also took to Twitter to share its move with the direct message of “We’re in. We’re Out @Facebook #StopHateForProfit.”
Upwork, a global freelancing platform and a major advertiser on Facebook, also is withdrawing its endorsements on the site. They Tweeted Friday evening: “Upwork is hitting pause on hate with no Facebook advertising in July. #StopHateForProfit.”
The campaign serves up just one way that brands across all industries have been leaning into conversations circulating around race and equality. In the fashion and footwear world specifically, the topics centered aiding the black community with more actions than words, creating new initiatives, making major donations and working from the inside out by hiring a more diverse staff.
“We as managers should have these conversations with HR. We have prerequisites in place that eliminate candidates even before a hiring manager has the opportunity to vet a short list,” New Balance director of apparel operations Portia Blunt told FN during a roundtable this week. “If we can get to a place where the job descriptions and [requirements] are more inclusive in terms of looking at more diverse pools, that’s where we can start to impact things.”