The events of the past two weeks have shed a national spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement and expanded the public outcry for addressing racial injustices in the United States. In turn, brands have had to reevaluate their own commitments to diversity and inclusion in terms of the causes they support, the products and services they sell, and the ways in which they market to consumers.
Additionally, many marketers are choosing to turn social ads off during this time, and Facebook ad spend has fallen precipitously over the past week. To help understand this shift, we’ve created a dashboard using estimated Facebook advertiser data from Pathmatics to show just how significant the decline has been.
Average Daily Facebook Spend Down Nearly 60% from Late May on Blackout Tuesday
The charts below reflect daily estimated Facebook spend from Pathmatics across twelve key categories. As you can see, daily Facebook spend dropped significantly from late May to June 2, also known as Blackout Tuesday, when many were calling for brands not to market themselves but to instead promote social justice reforms.
While spend clearly fell significantly on Blackout Tuesday, advertisers had already greatly reduced their investment in Facebook over the week prior.
“This is indicative of the seismic shift currently unfolding for many brands, many of which are having to publicly define their positions on discrimination in the United States for the first time…”
— Sequoyah Glenn, Research Analyst at Tinuiti
Tinuiti Research Analyst Sequoyah Glenn believes ‘this is indicative of the seismic shift currently unfolding for many brands, many of which are having to publicly define their positions on discrimination in the United States for the first time. While in the past the blowback of remaining silent on racial discrimination and carrying on business as usual may have been small enough to ignore, the current moment has greatly increased the expectations of consumers with regards to what they want to see from the brands they purchase from.’
“…[S]ome advertisers chose to redirect funds that might have otherwise been spent on advertising to instead make donations to organizations focused on fighting racial injustice.’
— Courtney Bittelari, Manager, Insights & Analytics at Tinuiti
The Tinuiti team will be updating the dashboard regularly to show how advertiser investment shifts moving forward as brands navigate public demand to address racial inequalities.