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Unilever warns it may pull ads from Facebook, Google

Unilever may pull the plug on digital ads, saying platforms have become a "swamp" of objectionable content. 

The conglomerate, which produces consumer goods including Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Lipton tea, warns it may not advertise through Facebook and Google in the future unless they clean up their content.

Keith Weed, Unilever's chief marketing officer, was expected to cast a critical eye on the online networks in a speech Monday to the Interactive Advertising Bureau's yearly leadership meeting in Palm Desert, California. 

Phony news, racist and extremist and sexist content have created a "swamp" with which Unilever does not want to be associated, Weed reportedly plans to say.

"As a brand-led business, Unilever needs its consumers to have trust in our brands," Weed reportedly said in a statement in advance of his speech. "We can't do anything to damage that trust -- including the choice of channels and platforms we use. So, 2018 is the year when social media must win trust back." 

Both Facebook and Google last year said they would take steps to curb illegal or objectionable content, but many industry observers have criticized their efforts as being too slow. 

At the end of January, Facebook said it was banning cryptocurrency ads because they misled consumers.