The accountants at several right-leaning papers - the Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph being part of that list - may by now be looking nervously across the North Atlantic at the campaign to ask advertisers to reconsider their association with the convocation of the irredeemably batshit that is Breitbart. Because what is happening Over There could happen here with equal rapidity if Stop Funding Hate’s campaign takes hold.
It might also be sinking in that the Breitbart response to the advertising ban - to turn immediately to abuse, including smears and falsehoods, in order to try and counter the movement to turn advertisers away - is proving utterly ineffective.
While Breitbart rants “The decision by Kellogg’s, which makes Pringles, Eggo waffles, as well as Special K and Frosted Flakes cereals, among others, will make virtually no revenue impact on Breitbart.com. It does, however, represent an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House”, more advertisers disappear.
As the site whines “Kellogg’s offered no examples of how Breitbart’s 45 million monthly readers fail to align with the breakfast maker’s values. Indeed, the move appears to be one more example of an out-of-touch corporation embracing false left-wing narratives used to cynically smear the hard working Americans that populate this nation’s heartland” and urges a boycott of Kellogg’s in retaliation, it fails to stem the tide.
And as the Guardian has noted, “Kellogg’s decision to pull its ads coincided with a campaign by Twitter user Sleeping Giants to pressure firms to drop their ads from Breitbart. Sleeping Giants is now receiving support from a likeminded online campaign to persuade consumers to boycott the Trump brand and any retailers carrying their products, organized around the hashtag #GrabYourWallet”.
Sleeping Giants, using tactics that are similar to Stop Funding Hate, have Tweeted out a simple guide:
“How to be a Giant:
1) look on Breitbart & take a screenshot of an ad
2) tweet it to the advertiser with a polite note
3) tag @slpng_giants”
How effective is that? Well, the list of advertisers that have pulled their products from Breitbart included, by yesterday’s date, not just Kellogg’s, but also 3M, Braun, Earthlink, Granta Magazine, Mièle, San Diego Zoo, US Bank, Warby Parker, and Welch’s.
Those at the Mail, Sun, Express and Telegraph might be wondering if a charm offensive in the direction of the likes of John Lewis may be in order. These campaigns do not feature any kind of arm-twisting or dark arts, but are simply courteous requests for companies not to advertise on sites that promote hate speech.
The decisions of those companies to pull their adverts are made using the freedom to choose that is an integral part of free societies on both sides of the North Atlantic. Neither Breitbart, nor our own hate mongers, can have any complaints.