Confused.com CMO presses online platforms to clean up

11 Feb 2019  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Confused.com CMO presses online platforms to clean up

Confused.com's chief marketing officer has said he would be willing to pull advertising from Facebook and Google if the duopoly fails to provide a brand-safe environment that is responsible towards consumers.

It is "hugely important" that social media platforms are positive environments, Sam Day said at Mediatel's Future of Brands last week, and advertisers have the "power" to make sure that happens.

"Advertisers are generally in a strong position to get [the tech giants] to listen," he said. "There is a responsibility on us to hold them to task."

Confused.com, traditionally a big TV advertiser, is relatively new to advertising on digital platforms and is still in a "test and learn" phase.

Day, who joined the insurance comparison site 10 months ago, said he is looking to "diversify the media mix" it uses by investing budget into the duopoly, after discovering that the brand was over-investing in under-performing channels.

However, every media channel has to be safe for brands and responsible to the communities they serve, he added.

When asked if he would be prepared to pull advertising from Facebook and Google if they failed to 'behave', Day said: "yes, I probably would actually" - citing concerns as both a marketer and a parent.

With ongoing scandals surrounding the content available on social media platforms, some industry commentators ask why respectable brands should continue to pump ad money into platforms that fail to provide a safe environment for users.

This time last year, Unilever CMO Keith Weed threatened to withdraw its advertising from Facebook, Twitter and Google if they failed to protect children, promoted hate or created division in society.

Weed also said that brands had a part to play in resolving the issues and could "no longer stand to one side or remain at arm's length just because issues in the supply chain do not affect us directly."

Last week Facebook-owned Instagram vowed to remove all graphic images of self-harm from its platform following high profile public pressure in the wake of the suicide of 14 year old Molly Russell, whose family found she had been viewing such images on the site prior to her death.

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