I Am Unclear What This Story Is About

It appears that Unilever, maker of Dove soaps, Axe Body Spray, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, Lipton Tea, Ben and Jerry’s, Q-Tips, and (of course) Marmite has put internet advertisers on notice that it is not amused. (see also here and here)

They are unsatisfied with what they are getting from internet advertising, though their statement about this mentions both what their products are paired with online, as well as the fact that the metrics are unreliable.

Though they soft pedal the latter in their statement, I think that this is their real agenda. Otherwise, why mention it all?

That’s my assessment, given that having an ad show up on Logan Paul’s YouTube stream is fleeting and easily corrected, but getting sold silicon snake oil is the sort of thing that gets the acounting types upset:

Unilever has threatened to withdraw its advertising from online platforms such as Facebook and Google if they fail to eradicate content which “create division in society and promote anger and hate”.

Keith Weed, chief marketing officer of the sprawling multinational, whose brands include Dove, Magnum, Persil and Marmite, said that online platforms were sometimes “little better than a swamp”. He told major advertising, media and tech firms gathered at a conference in California: “As one of the largest advertisers in the world, we cannot have an environment where our consumers don’t trust what they see online.”

He added: “We cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain – one that delivers over a quarter of our advertising to our consumers – which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency.

“It is in the digital media industry’s interest to listen and act on this. Before viewers stop viewing, advertisers stop advertising and publishers stop publishing.” According to the analysts Pivotal, together Google and Facebook account for nearly three-quarters of all digital advertising in the US. In the UK the two have more than 60% of digital advertising and 90% of all new digital spending.

(emphasis mine)

That thing about swamp and transparency?

That is not about “fake news” or “hate speech”, it is about things like Chinese click farms that generate false click throughs and the like, which costs them money, and delivers no customers.

I’m wondering if this whole thing is a dog whistle to Google and Facebook, and that the whole, “Divisions in society,” thing is a smoke screen.

As always, note that this post should in no way be construed as an inducement or a request for my reader(s) to click on any ad that they would not otherwise be inclined to investigate further. This would be a violation of the terms of service for Google™ Adsense™.

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