Beneva has announced that it will “significantly reduce” its advertising on Meta until further notice.
The decision was made in response to the social media giant’s reaction to Bill C-18, Beneva said in a press release.
Beneva is the largest insurance mutual in the country with over 3.5 million members and customers. It said it currently spends 65% of its advertising budget on Canadian platforms.
In response to Meta’s move, the insurance mutual said it stands by all the media companies, businesses and government agencies that initiated the movement to limit advertising on Meta-owned platforms.
Beneva’s statement also highlighted its disapproval of “a corporate decision that jeopardizes its plan members’ access to Canadian information.”
"At Beneva, we’re fully aware of the impact that Meta’s decision has on the Canadian media industry and population, said president and CEO Jean-François Chalifoux.
“In a show of solidarity, we’re reducing our advertising spend on such platforms and redirecting it to Canadian media.”
Beneva’s move aligns with other Canadian advertisers who said they will be pulling their advertising from Meta. These include the federal, Quebec and British Columbia governments, as well as media and telecommunications company Quebecor.
Bill C-18 passed into law in late June and requires tech companies to pay Canadian news outlets for content that appears on their platform.
To comply with the law, Meta has declared its intention to remove news from its Facebook and Instagram platforms by the end of the year.
“We have repeatedly shared that in order to comply with Bill C-18, content from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters, will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada,” the company said in a statement last month.
Rachel Curran, Meta’s head of public policy in Canada, also confirmed that there are no ongoing discussions with the federal government regarding the new law.
“We are proceeding towards ending the availability of news permanently in Canada,” Curran told CBC News.
Meta saw annual revenues of $117 billion in 2022. Canada contributed approximately $3 billion to that total, the Financial Times reported, citing regulatory filings.
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