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Brazil: JBS and 4Buzz deny accusations of organizing Google ad campaign to defame human rights and anti-slave labour activist

Author: Bruce Douglas, The Guardian, Published on: 13 April 2016

“Meat company denies backing advertisements against Brazilian activist-Report said JBS, world’s largest meat processor, was behind Google advertisement calling anti-slavery activist Leonardo Sakamoto a liar”, 10 April 2016

JBS, the world’s largest meat-processing company, has denied organising a Google advertising campaign to attack Brazil’s most prominent anti-slave labour campaigner. Leonardo Sakamoto, the president of the NGO Repórter Brasil, has repeatedly been the target of physical and legal threats over his journalism and activism in support of workers’ rights. In 2015, search results for his name and...blog were listed under an ad...stating: “Leonardo Sakamoto Lies.” An article published in...Folha de São Paulo claims that JBS, and a digital marketing agency called 4Buzz, were behind the campaign...Google cited JBS...in its response to...[a]...court order...But...declined to state who paid for the advert, citing client confidentiality...[T]he majority of...[IPs mentioned by Google]...were linked to 4Buzz,...contracted by the meat company in 2015. JBS and 4Buzz did not respond...for comment from the Guardian. In response to a comment posted on the JBS Facebook wall...,...[JBS]...[denied]...“...promoting any kind of action with the goal of defaming or attacking the journalist Leonardo Sakamoto”...Google...said...[it was]...“not responsible for, and cannot interfere with content published by advertisers on AdWords”, but...violation of its policies could result in removal of an ad...JBS has been repeatedly cited in Repórter Brasil articles for workers’ rights violations...Sakamoto’s work has resulted in defamation...[,]...death threats...[,]...criminal charges...and possible jail time...

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