Image via GB News
Consumer brands including IKEA, Nivea, Grolsch, and Kopparberg have pulled their advertisements from newly-launched GB News, citing concerns over the channel’s content.
Headlined by former BBC and Sky presenters Andrew Neil and Kirsty Gallacher, GB News first launched last Sunday, 13 June. The channel is hoping to position itself as an alternative to mainstream news, similar to that of Fox News in the US.
According to The Guardian, some of GB News’ financial backers are prominent right-wingers who have donated to various causes and campaign groups.
The presenters themselves are also known for outspoken views on issues associated with right-wing politics. One of the channel’s first guests on its opening night was former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.
Activists have begun calling for boycotts of brands that advertise on the channel, saying GB News aims to “monitize divisive political issues” and “push the boundaries of UK TV news regulations,” which typically require balanced and fair reporting.
IKEA, Dutch beer brand Grolsch, and Swedish cider-maker Kopparberg pulled their advertisements from the channel, saying its content goes against their aim to be inclusive. Interestingly, all the brands also said they weren’t aware their advertisements were being aired on GB News.
Companies advertising on television usually hire out their media-buying needs to agencies which do it on their behalf, as per The Guardian. This could explain why the brands involved in the backlash had no idea their advertisements were slated to be broadcast on GB News.
IKEA released a statement on the matter, saying: “We have safeguards in place to prevent our advertising from appearing on platforms that are not in line with our humanistic values. We are in the process of investigating how this may have occurred to ensure it won’t happen again in future, and have suspended paid display advertising in the meantime.”
Nivea also commented, saying it would review its suspension on GB News after three months. Grolsch took a stronger stand, explaining it “prides itself on core values of inclusion and openness to all people,” and made it clear they did not associate “with any platforms or outlets that go against these values.”
It remains to be seen if other consumer brands will follow suit and boycott the newly-launched UK channel.[via The Guardian, cover image via GB News]
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