The North Face Sends a Striking Message to Facebook, Pulls Ads

The North Face is sending a striking message to Facebook. The VF Corp.-owned brand said today it is pulling its ads from the platform amid widespread uproar over Facebook’s policies regarding hate speech and racist content.

”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.”

A group of civil rights organizations — including The Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense — joined forces this week on an initiative called “Stop Hate for Profit,” which calls out tech companies for “not doing enough to fight hate on their platforms.”

“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 group wrote on its website.

“We’re In. We’re Out,” The North Face tweeted today.

The brand is the first major consumer name to take action — and the move could prompt other big names to join in. It’s not clear whether VF’s other brands, including Timberland, Vans and others, will follow suit.

More fashion and footwear players are stepping up to help fight racial injustice as critical discussions continue across the industry. In recent weeks, conversation has centered around the need for meaningful actions to aid the Black community and advance equality across the country — and within company ranks.

“To end the systemic racism our country and industry face will take planning, new thinking and education, but also uncomfortable conversations,” Treis Hill, managing partner at Alife, told FN last week. “It is now everyone’s responsibility. It must remain a focus for every company.”

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