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Microsoft reportedly stops spending on Facebook and Instagram ads

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft reportedly stopped spending on advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
  • The stoppage is a result of Microsoft ads appearing next to content it believes is inappropriate.
  • The stoppage does not seem connected to the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

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."

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.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

8 Comments
  • Gonna be a lot of snowflakes who don't like this one. But I have to say I'm surprised by "terrorist content." Really, Facebook? Jesus.
  • They have to be referring to the mobs that have been tearing up businesses, people's homes, killing people. That's terrorism.
  • Do you really think there is no (actual) terrorist sponsored content on Facebook? Most of the social media platforms are a resource for propaganda, recruitment and collaboration.
  • Yeah, they probably were referring to nationwide peaceful demonstrations against the police murdering unarmed civilians. Terrorism obvs. Maybe Microsoft is pro-summary execution.
  • I thought Microsoft and Facebook were teaming up to replace Mixer? Did that already change?
  • $116 million on Facebook ads!!!???
  • Dumb move by Microsoft. The big outcome of this will be that whatever Microsoft used to spend money on advertising on Facebook (probably Xbox and Surface) will take a hit. Facebook users aren't going to stop using Facebook because Microsoft isn't showing them ads anymore, and other advertisers will simply jump into the empty spaces left by Microsoft to get a crack at Facebook's 2.4 billion monthly active users.
  • This isnt permanent read the piece