Over the past year, thousands of Stop Funding Hate supporters have taken action to encourage advertisers not to fund the “anti-woke” TV channel GB News.
Now the GB News CEO has publicly conceded that the advertising boycott has “no doubt” had an impact.
This follows an admission by former GB News Chair Andrew Neil that “Corporate executives are very keen not to be on the wrong end of Twitter or social media… the more outlandish you are, the more difficult it is getting advertising”.
Brands have every right to withhold their advertising from “Fox News-style” media
From an early stage, there were clear and obvious warning signs about GB News‘s likely direction.
The channel’s launch was preceded by a string of UK media headlines trailing it as a “British Fox News”. Fox News is notorious for racism, climate change denial, and dangerous misinformation on COVID19. So when GB News was framed as an attempt to “test whether there is appetite for a Fox News-style news channel in the UK“, there was understandably a great deal of concern.
In a free market, companies have every right to withhold their advertising from a media outlet that they decide isn’t appropriate for their brand. The “burden of proof” is on the media channel to make the case for why advertisers *should* align with them – not on advertisers to justify their decision to stay away.
By taking action early, Stop Funding Hate supporters were able to alert the companies they shop with about the brand safety risks of being associated with GB News, and have that conversation before brands had publicly committed themselves.
GB News has been accused of “demonising trans people at every opportunity”
It was always possible that GB News could have taken a less toxic direction, and proved the sceptics wrong. But if anything it became even more extreme than many had predicted.
Since its launch, GB News has been criticised for spreading problematic messages about climate change and COVID19, and “demonising trans people at every opportunity”.
So over the past year, Stop Funding Hate volunteers have been working to identify the GB News advertisers. We’re now seeing very few high profile brands appearing on the channel.
GB News investors are free subsidise it if they want to, but thanks to public pressure, major advertisers are becoming increasingly unwilling to support this kind of content.
There’s a way still to go, but step-by-step, #StopFundingHate supporters are helping to make toxic media unprofitable.
Together we’re showing the difference it can make when consumers speak out, and ask the companies we shop with to #StopFundingHate. If you’d like to help build our movement, please consider becoming a committed supporter and setting up a regular donation.