Microsoft stopped spending on Facebook ads, according to new report

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Microsoft stopped spending on Facebook advertisements in May, according to recent reports. The stoppage is reportedly a result of Microsoft ads appearing next to content on Facebook that Microsoft deems inappropriate. Axios broke the news and cites an internal Yammer post sent by Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela.

Capossela said in the leaked Yammer post:

Based on concerns we had back in May we suspended all media spending on Facebook/Instagram in the US and we’ve subsequently suspended all spending on Facebook/Instagram worldwide.

According to Axios, the text did not specify which specific content Microsoft took issue with, but cited “hate speech, pornography, terrorist content, etc.” as examples of “inappropriate content.”

The Yammer post also states Microsoft has been in touch with Facebook and Instagram leaders about what steps would need to be taken for Microsoft to resume advertising on Facebook and Instagram. In the post, Capossela states, “The timeline on resuming our media spending is dependent on the positive actions they take, but I expect our pause will continue through August.”

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According to estimates from Pathmatics, Microsoft spent $116 million on Facebook advertising in 2019, making it the third-largest advertiser on the platform.

Microsoft initially stopped spending on Facebook and Instagram ads in the United States, but that has since been extended worldwide. Capossela said in the same Yammer post:

Based on concerns we had back in May we suspended all media spending on Facebook/Instagram in the US and we’ve subsequently suspended all spending on Facebook/Instagram worldwide.

While Microsoft’s spending stoppage lines up with several major corporations withdrawing ads from Facebook and Instagram as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, the decision does not seem related to the campaign. Bloomberg cites a person familiar with the matter who states that Microsoft’s move is only connected to the placement of ads and is not a statement about Facebook’s policies.

Bloomberg’s source also states that alongside several other companies, Microsoft pulled ads from YouTube in February 2019 due to concerns about child pornography.

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