Culture

Levi’s CEO Touts Advertising Inefficiency As Stock Price Tumbles

Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh on Wednesday told CNBC that his company is embracing less efficient advertising strategies as it pulls ads from Facebook to protest the social media giant's handling of hate speech.

Bergh's admission that Levi's is spending more on ads due to his decision to boycott Facebook came as Levi's stock price plummeted more than 9 percent on Wednesday and the company announced its plans to lay off approximately 700 employees.

"I can tell you right up front this is not about saving money on ads," Bergh said of the company's decision to join an activist pressure campaign targeting Facebook. "We’ve actually had to shift our advertising and it’s slightly more expensive because Facebook is so efficient."

Levi's announced late last month that it would join the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which aims to strongarm Facebook into cracking down on so-called hate speech. The company said in a tweet that "Facebook must take actions to stop misinformation and hate speech on its platforms. It is an unacceptable affront to our values. We and @Dockers are joining the #StopHateForProfit campaign and pausing all ads on @Facebook and @Instagram."

Bergh told CNBC's Carl Quintanilla that he hopes to put pressure on Facebook ahead of the November election.

"The reason we joined is because we’ve got a very important thing coming up in November called the election," he said, adding that a change in Facebook's policies "could have a real impact on the election."

Levi's stock price dropped to $12.45 a share on Wednesday from a high of $14.40 on Monday, and the company recently reported a $363.5 million loss in the second quarter.