The CEO of Starling said the bank is boycotting buying ads on Facebook and Instagram.The executive cited scammers “going after the savings of our customers” as the reason for the ban.She also said she hopes Meta’s metaverse mission doesn’t distract “from doing what is right today.” Get the latest tech news & scoops — delivered daily to your inbox.Loading Something is loading.
Anne Boden, CEO of the digital-only Starling Bank, detailed the boycott of both Facebook and Instagram in her latest annual letter to customers and shareholders.Bloomberg first reported the news.
“We want to protect our customers and our brand integrity,” Boden said.”And we can no longer pay to advertise on a platform alongside scammers who are going after the savings of our customers and those of other banks.”
She also noted that she has “repeatedly called out the big tech and social media giants” for giving financial fraudsters a home.
Starling, which was founded in 2014 and now claims more than 2.5 million customer accounts, did not immediately respond to a request for additional information, but a company spokesperson told Bloomberg that its ad boycott began in December.
Meta, the new name for Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, said in response that it continues to take action against bad actors and scammers on its sites.
“Meta has committed to introducing a new onboarding process this year which will require UK regulated financial services to be authorised by the FCA prior to serving financial services adverts on our platforms,” a spokesperson said.”Promoting financial scams is against our policies and we’re dedicating significant resources to tackling this industry-wide issue on and off our platforms.
To fight this, we work not just to detect and reject scam ads on our services, but also block advertisers.While no enforcement is perfect, we continue to invest in new technologies and methods to protect people on our service from these scams.”
Boden also wrote that she was waiting on Meta to implement the solutions it promised to counteract fraudulent advertising, a move that Google made in august, as Bloomberg noted.
And she later referenced Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s aggressive push into the so-called metaverse , a buzzword for an immersive type of technology that has yet to materialize for the masses to use.
“While Facebook (Meta) may hold out all sorts of promises for the future, I really hope its focus on the Metaverse doesn’t become a distraction from doing what is right today, here and now in the UK of 2022,” Boden wrote in the letter.
Companies have boycotted buying ads on Meta’s platform before, but firms have usually cited social reasons for the ban.
For example, dozens of big-name brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Ford boycotted purchasing ads on the platform in June 2020 amid social unrest following the police killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, citing a lack of hate speech moderation.
The company declined to remove posts in which former President Donald Trump called protestors “thugs” and potentially incited violence when he wrote, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
However, the ad boycott was temporary, and some worried that it was merely a publicity move, including one of Facebook’s own moderators who told The Guardian that the ban should be extended, otherwise it’s a “PR stunt.”
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