Why Mulan, Cinderella and Aladdin said bye-bye-la to Facebook advertising?

July 29, 2020
SCMP Insights

During the past couple of weeks, the #StopHateforProfit campaign has caused an uproar among advertisers, brands and consumers – and provided a lesson about the importance of brand safety.

The campaign asked companies to suspend their July Facebook advertising to help curb the spread of hateful speech and misinformation on the platform.

The movement resembled the 2017 advertiser’s revolt against YouTube over concerns that ads could appear beside offensive content.

Driven by brand safety concerns, some of the world’s biggest corporations have followed the Facebook boycott call, including Disney, which reportedly spent US$210 million on Facebook ads in the first half of 2020, The Wall Street Journal said.   

Other major brands that have paused their ad spending on the social media platform include Unilever, Starbucks, Samsung and Microsoft.

Trust can make or break brands

The backlash against Facebook shows that merit-driven advertising demands trust and reliability in addition to platform reach.

For the “Brand Trust in 2020” report released last month, marketing consultancy firm Edelman surveyed more than 22,000 consumers in 11 global markets. The results show that 70 per cent of the respondents say trusting a brand is more critical today than in the past, and 64 per cent rank trust second only to price.

While the awareness about social media advertising pitfalls continues to spread around the world, the loss in credibility has led brands to look at safer alternatives. A growing argument for news publishers as a preferred option has been a trending topic, given their robust digital capabilities to ensure a safe advertising environment for partners.

The Consumer Trust in Ads report, released last December by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), said that social media represents the least trusted advertising medium. Printed newspapers and local newspapers emerged as the most trusted ones.

“If you have a high trust content platform, it is going to spill over strongly in trust in ads,” Lauri Löfveblad, head of strategy at Syno International – the consumer data intelligence and market research specialist that co-produced the report – said in a blog post on the WAN-IFRA website. 

Yet enough about the reports. Actions speak louder than words. Last  March, the South China Morning Post exceeded 50 million monthly active users – underlining global growth that has seen a tenfold increase in its audience over the past three years. 

This serves as a strong validation of SCMP’s editorial quality and professionalism, especially among global business leaders, policy makers and academics that rely on it for its unparalleled and trusted expertise in understanding China and Asia. 

SCMP’s authoritative position among global media organisations  was further reinforced that same month when it became the first Asian news organisation to join the Trust Project – a worldwide initiative that provides standards of news production to help readers identify credible journalism. 

Guided by principles of trustworthiness and transparency, in addition to more than a century of expertise in producing authentic, balanced, and independent journalism, advertisers can rely on the quality of the content that accompanies their advertising.

Lighthouse drives campaign effectiveness

SCMP has developed in-house tools to help design highly targeted and value-driven campaigns.

SCMP Signal allows its partners to determine their best advertising framework by providing contextual, keyword, and sentiment targeting options. 

It works best in tandem with SCMP Lighthouse, a first-party data system with which SCMP analyses its 50 million monthly global users to drive campaign effectiveness and optimisation. 

By providing the ability to build bespoke audiences based on SCMP’s user profiles, brands can gain rich insights into user consumption patterns and easily compare them across geographies. 

This is an important step for SCMP. Having scaled, adding value with first-party data means SCMP can understand how it is valued by a user and connect an advertiser via its trusted first-party relationship. 

Combining consumer insights with SCMP’s trustworthy, brand-safe platform drives advertising efficiency with precise targeting of high-value users.

Social media platforms are working hard to close the gap while dealing with hate speech and discriminating content. Why not use this time to learn more about SCMP Signal and SCMP Lighthouse and chat with us to see how we can help your advertising needs?  

Trust me – we make it worth your while.