P&G hits out at Facebook and Google over violent content

P&GFMCG giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) has hit out at tech giants Google and Facebook over lack of transparency and failure to adequately deal with violent content on their platforms.

P&G, which is an important advertiser for both platforms, said the online behemoths aren’t finding solutions fast enough.

P&G chief brand officer Marc Pritchard criticised the online giants at an industry conference recently, saying that the online media industry lacks “transparency, fraud, privacy breaches and a proliferation of violent and harmful content placed next to ads,” Bloomberg reported.

According to Pritchard, P&G invests heavily in marketing every year for its brands to ensure that the way the ads are delivered to consumers are “completely free of offensive content and are more willing to share consumer data with advertisers.”

“We’ve been tolerant for too long. It’s not acceptable to have brands showing up where Opioids are being offered, where illegal drugs are promoted, where abhorrent behavior is present or where violence is seen. The apologies are heartfelt and appreciated, but that’s not good enough,” said Pritchard.

He then urged other advertisers to create a new media supply chain and step up to the plate. In 2017, P&G boycotted video company YouTube after its ads were placed beside terrorist content. While entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. and FMCG company Kellogg halted on investing on Google’s video site due to the same concerns. Pritchard said, despite these, Google or Facebook’s profit weren’t affected.

Social media legislation in Australia

The Australian Government was quick to introduce new social media legislation in the wake of the recent Christchurch massacre, but the International Social Media Association (ISMA) said on Monday that the new laws fail to address the individual users who share abhorrent content online.

“The new laws have been widely criticised by the legal, journalist and tech communities alike, which is understandable given the almost complete lack of consultation with the very companies the Australian Government is seeking to regulate,” the ISMA said on Monday.

The ISMA is advocating for a more “holistic approach” to the problem where both platforms and users are considered.

In February, Unilever has fired a warning shot at tech firms who are failing to counter fake news and online fraud.

Facebook and Google were contacted for comments.

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