Facebook Loses Italy’s Biggest Bank as a Friend

(Bloomberg) -- UniCredit SpA stopped using Facebook Inc. for advertising, alleging the media giant hasn’t acted ethically, a move other large companies have also threatened to make.

Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier said the Italian financial group will not have any business relations with Facebook because the bank maintains that it hasn’t acted properly.

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.

A spokeswoman for Facebook declined to comment.

Facebook, along with U.S. tech companies including Alphabet Inc. and Twitter Inc., have been under fire for failing to monitor where advertisements are placed. But few companies have actively banned all advertising on Facebook. Unilever NV and Sonos Inc. have previously threatened to pull ads from tech platforms.

Commerzbank AG suspended advertising on Facebook in March, only to resume again one month later after being satisfied by discussions with the social media company.

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.

However Facebook’s revenue, fueled by mobile advertising sales, increased 42 percent to $13.2 billion in the second quarter.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.