On a call with about 200 advertisers Tuesday, Facebook’s head of trust and safety, Neil Potts, made the comment after being asked why companies should risk “our brands’ reputation by staying on your platform,” according to a person familiar with the matter.
“There is a trust deficit,” Potts conceded on the call, which was convened by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “You try to make a decision and people disagree and maybe that builds that deficit even deeper.”
Asked for comment about the call, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told CNN Business: “It’s normal for us to have conversations with advertisers and discuss issues, including policy matters. This is something we do routinely and will keep doing.”
The conference call, and Potts’ remarks on it, are perhaps the clearest signal yet that Facebook’s leadership is now grappling with a mounting pressure campaign from advertisers.
In recent weeks, Facebook has confronted pushback from employees and politicians over its inaction on Trump’s posts, but the growing advertiser boycott could pose a unique threat to its core business. The vast majority of Facebook’s roughly $70 billion in annual revenue comes from advertising.
Still, Potts told the group on the call that Facebook is working to close the trust gap. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed to review the company’s policies on content relating to the state use of force as well as voter suppression.