At first, the press had a problem with the digital world, but here too, they are now bringing in the advertising revenue, along with new media outlets. But campaigns like SFH in the UK, and Sleeping Giants in the USA, threaten the flow of money. That also includes commercial broadcasters, especially Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
But now has come a greater and far more high-profile threat: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, already hate figures of the UK tabloids, have parked their tanks on the media advertising lawn. The lawsuits, such as that Megs has launched against the Mail on Sunday, the press can figure out. The targeting of their advertising money they cannot.
Attacking Hal and Megs is made that much more difficult as their campaign is part of their initiative on health and wellbeing, hence the strapline “Amid a crisis of health, hate, and truth online, companies need to take a stand for a more compassionate digital world”.
Harry’s opening remarks will have sent a chill around UK newsrooms: “A little over four weeks ago, my wife and I started calling business leaders, heads of major corporations, and chief marketing officers at brands and organisations we all use in our daily lives”.
The objective of the calls? “Our message was clear: The digital landscape is unwell and companies like yours have the chance to reconsider your role in funding and supporting online platforms that have contributed to, stoked, and created the conditions for a crisis of hate, a crisis of health, and a crisis of truth”. Would he like to give an example?
He certainly would. “We did this at the same time as the launch of a civil rights and racial justice campaign called Stop Hate For Profit, which sought to change online policies around hate speech - in this case, policies at Facebook - by urging companies that regularly purchase digital ads on the platform to withhold their advertising spending for the month of July. As of the end of last month, the campaign (led by respected organisations such as the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, and the NAACP) sent a $7 billion message through withheld ad dollars”. That’s one serious ad revenue shortfall.
He goes on to tell “many of us love and enjoy social media. It’s a seemingly free resource for connecting, sharing, and organising. But it’s not actually free; the cost is high. Every time you click, they learn more about you. Our information, private data, and unknown habits are traded on for advertising space and dollars. The price we’re all paying is much higher than it appears. Whereas normally we’re the consumer buying a product, in this ever-changing digital world, we are the product”. So we should also have a say.
That concept frightens the crap out of those bringing in the revenue. FNC has already been made the subject of advertising boycotts. SFH has targeted papers and their websites - like the Mail titles and MailOnline. Now the Sussexes are in there too.
And that’s the real reason the press hates them. Because they’re a pain in the wallet.
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