The Facebook boycott is gaining steam, but the real impact might not be felt for another year

The Facebook boycott is gaining steam, but the real impact might not be felt for another year

Hello! Welcome to the Advertising & Media Insider newsletter, your weekly fix of industry news. I’m Lucia Moses, deputy editor here. You can sign up for this newsletter here.

Facebook fallout

sheryl sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg speaks during a forum in San Francisco.

AP Photo/Eric Risberg


For years, industry experts have been saying Facebook’s ad business will be untouchable as long as it continues to work for advertisers. Even initially, some wrote off the current boycott as just a self-serving gesture by some lefty brands. But as it’s mushroomed to big-name advertisers, you have to ask if this is the moment that could actually dent Facebook’s business long-term.

Already, brands are moving their dollars to perceived safer havens like TikTok, Google, and Pinterest.

The view of marketing vet Rishad Tobaccowala is that the big change will be a year or two from now as some of these companies, under pressure at all levels, untether themselves from the platform. Meanwhile, the small and medium-sized advertisers, including the Facebook-birthed direct-to-consumer companies, that are the lifeblood of Facebook’s business will keep it humming.

Read more of our coverage here:

Toxic culture at GMMB

GettyImages 99293611

GMMB founding partner Jim Margolis at a press conference in 2006

Getty Images / Roll Call / Chris Maddaloni


A lot of companies are getting examined for their toxic culture, but few share the progressive bona fides of Omnicom’s GMMB, the political ad and PR agency whose founders helped elect presidents Clinton and Obama.

As Sean Czarnecki reported, its reputation has attracted scores of people of color to work there, but what they found was a workplace that was rife with what sources called systemic racism. From Sean’s story:

Some former GMMB staffers say the firm tokenized employees of color to win business.

They said GMMB added employees of color to pitches for big accounts like The James Irvine Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though those employees were responsible only for administrative tasks.

“At the time, I almost saw it as a good thing,” a white former staffer said of this practice. “We want to reflect our diversity and values. That’s how senior staff present it. I bought into that until I had this conversation with a Black employee about what it feels like to have their face on random proposals they didn’t have a hand in.”

Read the full story here:

Insiders at Omnicom agency GMMB say the workplace is rife with ‘systemic’ racism, where people of color are tokenized and treated like ‘the help’

Can influencers fix Quibi?

As critics pick over Quibi’s stumbling launch, some are asking where the streaming service went wrong and how to fix it. One idea is that the new streaming service lean more on influencers and less on traditional talent for its shows. But as Amanda Perelli and Ashley Rodriguez reported, Quibi has had a strained relationship with influencers from the start.

Read more here:

Quibi says influencers are a key part of its strategy but insiders say it repeatedly dismissed ‘YouTuber ideas’ in favor of familiar TV formats

Here are other great reads from advertising, media, and beyond:

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading!

— Lucia

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