Disney, one of the largest advertisers on Facebook in the United States during the first half of 2020, cut its spending to zero in July after joining the advertiser boycott over hate speech content.
Pathmatics estimates the company spent $211.8 million -- up about 2,000% compared with the first half of 2019 -- mostly to promote Disney+, the new streaming service. Facebook accounted for 64% of all Disney's digital advertising spend in the first half of 2020. The budget went to Amazon, and at least 4,313% more was spent on the platform.
As Facebook attempts to determine what “free speech” really means, analysis firm Pathmatics looked into the data on Facebook’s biggest advertisers in the first half of 2020 to see what changed as boycotts gained steam in July after dealing with COVID-19, Black Lives Matter protests, and political turmoil.
Pathmatics estimates that 180 brands joined the boycott, halting their Facebook spend as early as late June to show their solidarity with the #stophateforprofit campaign.
Procter & Gamble, another large advertiser on Facebook in the United States, spent $81.7 million during the first half of 2020. Those millions of dollars are only 30% of P&G’s digital budget, according to Pathmatics.
Leading into July 2020, however, Pathmatics points to an increase in spend across all platforms, with a huge jump in Facebook spend beginning in April, as other brands slowed advertising as a result of COVID-19.
High spenders on Facebook throughout the first half of the year varied. In the first half of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau invested a total of $51.5 million was spent in Facebook advertising.
Pathmatics points out that while the majority of Facebook ads are link posts, the Census Bureau spent $8.9 million on video posts. The Census Bureau also spend $36.6 million on link posts, $3 million on status posts, $2.9 million on carousel points, and $83,000 on other types of posts.
The Donald Trump reelection campaign spend $41.7 million on various types of ads in the first half of 2020, with 6% targeted to voters in California.
Home Depot spent $40 million on Facebook in the first half of 2020, while Purple Innovation spent $33.3 million; LLC Home Box Office (HBO) spent $32.2 million; Wix.com spent $32.2 million; and Domino’s spent $32.1 million.