This thought has not yet been allowed to enter at new broadcast entrant Gammon Broadcasting News (“Bacon’s News Channel”), where the efforts of campaigners such as Stop Funding Hate have resulted in the channel - just three days into its tenure of the airwaves - losing several high profile names from their advertising portfolio.
But GB News are not even considering stopping and thinking why this might be: they, and their pals in our free and fearless press have gone on the attack, full of aggression, bluster and just a hint of menace. This “spend with us or my mates will trash your lousy brand” strategy unfolded as soon as the first dominoes began to fall.
As Press Gazette has reported, “Drinks companies Kopparberg and Grolsch, skincare company Nivea and the Open University have all distanced themselves from the new channel … They were later joined by Swedish retail giant Ikea and Ovo Energy”. So the main man at GB News, former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil, went on the attack.
“IKEA has decided to boycott GB News because of our alleged values. Here are IKEA’s values - a French CEO who is a criminal with a two year suspended jail sentence for spying on staff”. Who did Brillo work for when he edited the Sunday Times? His attack was later joined by former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, who declared that IKEA were “pathetic virtue-signalling twerps”, and that he would now be boycotting them.
This became popular with the less savoury part of the right-leaning punditerati, with Brexiteer floor-crosser Kate Hoey claiming “I certainly will not purchase anything from IKEA until they lift their boycott of [GB News]”. Washed-up has-been Tony Parsons added “[IKEA] happily do business in a country where there is the death penalty for being gay and yet the pious flat-pack furniture merchants clutch their pearls at the idea of doing business with [GB News]”. Deeply unpleasant former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth joined in.
“Despite global protests Saudi Arabia has just beheaded a young man they arrested for rioting when he was 16. Ikea's local management kept quiet but over here the firm pulled ads from anti-woke [GB News] saying the station didn't meet their ‘humanistic values’. Hypocrites or what?” None of these less than totally august individuals stopped to think that many would rather like a visit to IKEA if it meant not encountering any of them.
The result has been all that a free marketeer could have wished: Vodafone and Octopus Energy have joined the exodus, with insurer LV considering its position and Deliveroo being lined up by campaigners who point out that the brand is an England football team partner - and GB News hosts claim taking the knee is “waging a culture war on fans”.
The latest response from the media establishment is the Spectator (chairman - guess who) getting a droid from the planet Spiked to attack campaigners. But it won’t work. Brillo and his pals don’t have the clout they think they have. The slippery slope has already arrived.
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