News just came out today that Kellogg’s Advertising firms are pulling all of its advertising from the site Breitbart.com.
The site has recently come under stronger fire from groups condemning it as sexist, racist and promoting hate-speech. A big push for this has been on social media, particularly on Twitter and Facebook.
The reasoning for Kellogg’s decision to pull their advertising is that Breitbart’s recent articles and rhetoric “aren’t aligned with our values as a company,”
(And for the record, I’m staying out of the debate about Breitbart’s content, I’m questioning the brand move from advertising and PR perspective)
But with a country as divided as it is right now, is this a smart move? After all, Donald Trump’s top aide and future White House Adviser, Steve Bannon, used to actually run the site.
Is this decision to pull their online advertising from it likely to get it caught into a new firestorm with people who are regular readers of the site, or Donald Trump supporters? Or do you think it was a decision mostly to just get out of the crosshairs of any kind of public backlash?
My last question – the one I’m really pondering, is this: If journalism (let’s just call Bretibart journalism, for the sake of this argument) is reliant on advertising to survive, and groups can rise up online against speech or reporting they don’t like, are we risking a censored journalistic environment?
As much as there are plenty of things out there that are reported on and opinions I don’t agree with, I fear that we risk setting a precedent where we stamp out speech we don’t like by threatening boycotts of the companies who are just trying to get in front of potential customer eyeballs.
So what do you think of Kellogg’s advertising pull from Breitbart? Leave your thoughts below.