Coca-Cola makes political statement on Facebook's Ad library | Burrard Strategy

Coca-Cola makes political statement on Facebook’s Ad library

Burrard Strategy

April 17, 2024

Coca-Cola makes political statement, runs first-time social issues ad authorized on Facebook, Ad Library reveals  

Coca-Cola has taken to Facebook to lend its company brand and message to fight racism in America. The global soda giant is fizzing to the top of social media advocacy with its first-time spend on social issues and promoting social justice. 

Under Facebook’s new transparency rules, to regulate ads categorized as social issues, elections or politics, all users must become compliant. Last week the Coca-Cola company was required to register like any other politician or advocacy organization, reporting how much was spent and which digital audiences they targeted. 

Facebook has finally forced everyone to show their audiences who is behind any ads regarding social issues, elections or political content. 

Starting two years ago in the US, in the wake of the #FakeNews and widespread misinformation and disinformation, Facebook required accounts to be publicly accountable for the messages they advertised. If messages related to social issues, elections or politics people had to be vetted, with information publicly disclosed. These same rules came into effect in Canada as well, on June 10, 2019.

Coca-Cola registered as The Coca-Cola Company with Facebook on Thursday (June 3, 2020), and used its Facebook ad credits to pay  $100K (USD) for one ad on June 4, 2020, to showcase their donation to 100 Black Men of America, Inc on the Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Coca-Cola is joining big brands like Walmart, the NFL, and Budweiser getting involved in public issues that matter to their consumers. 

Walmart, the top Fortune 500 company in 2019, surprisingly has spent $2.2M (USD) on ads related to social issues, elections or politics since May 2018, according to Facebook’s Ad Library. Other Fortune 500 companies like Amazon.com, Apple, and Ford, between May 2018 and June 8, 2020, have spent zero. 

The National Football League (NFL), in the last two years (May 2018-June 2020) has spent $279,474 (USD) on advertisements categorized as being about social issues, elections or politics. The NFL’s mission is to “unite people and inspire communities in the joy of the game.” 

Becoming an early adopter of Facebook compliance meant the NFL could impact and connect with communities on issues related to gun violence, breast cancer awareness, and more.

Big Brands like Amazon.com, Apple, and Ford, that have not registered or spent money on social issues ads, have denied themselves the opportunity to create impact in communities on social media’s largest digital platform. 

To learn more about the NFL’s ad activities related to social issues visit the homepage.

Other popular brands in the US, including Nike, Netflix, Jordan, Amazon, have all yet to register and/or run advertisements categorized as being about social issues, elections or politics.

What does this mean for Coke to submit the appropriate information to become compliant

It means the company has allowed itself to be properly vetted and approved to run ads on Facebook and Instagram platforms about issues that are meant to motivate users to take social and political action. 

When viewers click on these regulated public affairs-related ads, they can easily find out who is running the ad, how much is being spent on it, and given contact details (email, phone and website domain) should the public or regulators wish to contact them.

By clicking on “Information from the advertiser” we were able to identify Dan Stockinger, Senior Manager, Listening & Analytics at Coca-Cola company is responsible for having launched the ad (June 4, 2020) a day after the company was granted compliance (June 3, 2020) to run a social issues ad. 

This will be the second time Coca-Cola company has run a social issues ad on the platform. The last time it ran an ad was in Jun 6, 2018 – Jun 30, 2018, before Facebook required compliance.

All social issues, elections or political advertisements will be available for viewing in Facebook’s ad library for a period of up to 7 years.

Ads related to social issues, elections, or politics
Brands registered or have run ads 

  1. Walmart (May 2018 – June 2020 – $2,250,923) (Fortune 500)
  2. Ben & Jerry’s (May 2018-June 2020 – 
  3. $1,459,120)
  4. NFL (May 2018-June 2020 – $279,474)
  5. NBA (May 2018-June 2020 – $219,106)
  6. Budweiser (May 2018-June 2020 – $8,750)
  7. K-Swiss (May 2018-June 2020 – $2,769)

Brands not registered, or have never run ads

  1. Amazon.com (Fortune 500)
  2. Apple (Fortune 500)
  3. Ford (Fortune 500)
  4. MLB 
  5. NHL 
  6. Molson Coors
  7. Jordan 

The world is changing. Digital compliance, especially when it comes to important public issues, is critical to building trust. In the near future expect more brands to register to promote causes and advocate for social issues.

 

MORE TO COME

In the following days, Burrard Strategy will be releasing a series that looks at digital compliance highlighting the successful approach of Social Justice Advocates to build trust for their message and fight racism and much more. 

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We will also be discussing how compliance polices bad actors, looking at some examples of digital culprits, organizations, individuals, and politicians that skirted digital rules. We also look at the changes to political advertising, uncovering some of the nasty tactics used by illicit actors to farm data. We also show you how to use the Facebook ad registry to support your digital advocacy strategies. Finally we discuss why Canada, despite being such a high ranked trusted Organization Economic Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member country, was one of the last countries to have to register for digital compliance on Facebook.

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