Breitbart News, the far-right website that until recently was run by President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, is being targeted by a social media movement aiming to cut off its ad dollars.
Now, companies are starting to take notice.
In late November, the Twitter account Sleeping Giants began encouraging followers to put pressure on companies to stop advertising on Breitbart News.
The site, which Bannon began running 2012, has come under fire for publishing articles with headlines such as “Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage” and “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy."
The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the Breitbart News a " white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill."
Chipotle, Jeep , and Gap , among other brands, have been targeted by the campaign, which encourages participants to screenshot ads on Breitbart News and then ask the companies via Twitter and Facebook to stop advertising on the site.
"I am discouraged and disheartened to discover that the Chipotle restaurant group is advertising in Breitbart," reads a comment on Chipotle’s Facebook page. "Whether or not [Chipotle] actively supports the venomous messages disseminated by Breitbart, providing any revenue by means of advertising, at minimum, makes a clear statement that the Chipotle restaurant group is tolerant of messages of discrimination and hate. This is unacceptable on every level. Sorry to say you’ve lost my business until this changes."
— Kate Degner (@DrKKDegner)
December 1, 2016
— Kirk McElhearn (@mcelhearn)
December 1, 2016
Because of the ad software Breitbart uses, many companies were apparently unaware that their ads had been running on the website. If brands using this software want to avoid running ads on certain websites, such as Brietbart, they need to specifically blacklist these sites.
In response to the movement, on Wednesday, the Breitbart launched a campaign encouraging readers to not purchase Kellogg’s products.
"Pulling its advertising from Breitbart News is a decidedly cynical and un-American act," Breitbart President and CEO Larry Solov said. "The only sensible response is to join together and boycott Kellogg’s products in protest."