According to the news report by Bloomberg, UniCredit SpA has stopped using Facebook Inc.’s social media platform for advertising. The Italian financial group accused Facebook did not act ethically, because of which it has decided to cut ties with the social media giant.
The bank’s Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier announced that they would no longer continue its business relationship with Facebook because the social media company did not act correctly. According to the report by The Guardian, Mustier stated that the bank would not be using Facebook until the social media giant displayed ethical behavior.
Mustier’s decision to withdraw from Facebook is in direct response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that the social media giant has been embroiled in, because of which millions of Facebook users’ personal information was harvested for political use during the 2016 US Presidential elections. Thanks to this scandal, Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer as well as co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was taken before the US Congress to address questions related to this scandal.
A spokesperson for the bank clarified that Mustier was talking about all the advertising and marketing campaigns that the bank ran on Facebook. Currently, the bank has multiple accounts on Facebook, all of which are regularly updated.
UniCredit has more than 26 million customers and the bank taking this stance against Facebook is sending out the message that tech platforms need to take more ownership for what happens on their media. UniCredit is one of the rare companies that is taking action instead of just talking about it.
Last month, Facebook’s stocks plunged by more than 20% after the social media company reported a lowered guidance for the year after it released its second quarter earnings results. Zuckerberg told investors that the damage to the social media company’s reputation because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal had significantly slowed down user growth on its platform. In fact, more than 3 million users across Europe have left Facebook after news of the scandal broke.
Thanks to this announcement, Facebook lost more than $120 billion in market value in a single day, making it the worst single-day drop in history. This is the first concrete sign of consumers’ disenchantment with the company that has been embroiled in scandals and controversy related to user privacy as well as content on its platform.
US technology companies such as Facebook, Alphabet Inc. as well as Twitter Inc. have been under scrutiny because of how there is a lack of control on how and where advertisements are placed on their platforms. However, despite the complaints and criticism, hardly any companies have done anything about it.
Unilever NV as well as Sonos Inc. had previously threatened to take off their advertisements from Facebook as well as other tech platforms. Sonos was off Facebook for just a week before the speaker maker resumed using the platform. Commerzbank AG had suspended its operations on Facebook earlier this year in March, however, after a month, returned to the social media platform after the bank declared that its discussions with Facebook team had satisfied them.
According to Facebook’s spokesperson, the company cares about people as deeply as advertisers do. And while some companies have stopped using Facebook’s platform to advertise, most of the companies have voiced their support for the platform and the steps that the social media giant is taking to ensure that people’s information is protected from here on.
The spokesperson also stated that the team at Facebook takes feedback very seriously, which is why the company is working with its partners to make the social media platform a safer and more secure place for all users.