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Canada’s Bold Move: Suspending Ads on Facebook and Instagram – What’s Next?

CTV News | Nojoud Al Mallees and Tara Deschamps | Jul 5, 2023

Unsplash Adem AY Meta and Instagram social media - Canada's Bold Move: Suspending Ads on Facebook and Instagram - What's Next?

Image: Unsplash/Adem AY

In response to Meta's decision to block Canadian news content, the Canadian government, along with several media companies, are suspending their advertisements on Facebook and Instagram, signaling a potential shift in the digital advertising landscape and news consumption habits.

  • This decision is a reaction to Canada's recently passed Online News Act, which requires tech giants to compensate media outlets for the content they share or repurpose on their platforms.
    • The Canadian government spends approximately $10 million on advertisements on these platforms, which will now be redirected to other ad campaigns.  In addition, media companies and the Quebec government have also begun to withdraw their advertising from Meta's platforms.
    • Google has also indicated its intention to block Canadian news when the bill comes into force in six months. However, the Canadian government is currently in talks with Google and believes that the company's concerns will be addressed by the regulations that will be implemented alongside the bill.

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  • Impact: 
    • For Meta and Google, this development could lead to a significant loss of advertising revenue from the Canadian market.
    • It also sets a precedent that other countries might follow, which could further impact their global advertising revenues.
    • For media companies, this could potentially lead to a more equitable distribution of advertising revenues, as tech giants will be required to pay for the content they share or repurpose. However, it could also lead to a decrease in their content's visibility if tech giants choose to block their content rather than pay for it.
    • For the Canadian government and its citizens, this could lead to a shift in how news is accessed and consumed. With tech giants blocking news content, consumers may need to directly access news outlets for information, which could lead to increased traffic for these outlets.
      • However, it could also lead to a decrease in the diversity of news content that consumers are exposed to, as they may be less likely to seek out news from a variety of sources.

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