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Blowback: UniCredit Becomes First Major Corporation To Sever Ties With Facebook Over Ethics

Facebook has lost a major advertiser, UniCredit SpA, which has severed all ties alleging that the social media giant hasn’t acted ethically, reports Bloomberg which notes that “other large companies” may follow suit.

CEO Jean Pierre Mustier says the bank maintains that Facebook hasn’t acted properly, and the Italian financial group will no longer have any type of business relationship with the Menlo Park, CA company.

Mustier was referring to business activities including advertising and marketing campaigns, a spokesman for UniCredit said. The bank currently has a swath of Facebook accounts — which are regularly updated. –Bloomberg

Facebook has come under intense scrutiny for failing to safeguard user data amid the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal, revealed in March by The Guardian and The New York Times. The data from up to 87 million users, and possibly more, was found to have been “harvested” via the psychological profiling app “Thisisyourdigitallife” – which was created by two psychologists (one of whom currently works for Facebook), and was specially designed to collect and share information.

Despite Facebook’s attempts at damage control, UniCredit says they’re done with the social media giant – and there have been others. Unilever UV and Sonos Inc. have also threatened to pull ads.

In late July, Facebook’s shares fell over 20 percent after second-quarter revenue showed the first signs of user disenchantment in the midst of public scandals over privacy and content. The company has been under fire following revelations that personal information on as many as 87 million users ended up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm that worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Mozilla Corp., which develops the Firefox web browser, said in March it would pause its ads from appearing on Facebook as a result. –Bloomberg

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