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Advertising boycott of GB News increased viewership, poll suggests

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According to a recent poll, the attempts by social media activists to pressure companies to stop advertising on GB News made people more likely to watch the new center-right TV channel and streaming service in the UK.

The poll was conducted by CT Group. It involved 1,000 respondents, 29% of whom said they were more likely to watch the channel as a result of the boycott. Only 14% said the boycott made them less likely to watch the channel.

That finding alone suggests that the advertisement boycott campaign, launched by activists such as Led by Donkeys and Stop Funding Hat, might have backfired. Brands that took part in the boycott include Ikea, Nivea, and Koppaberg.

The activists have pressured brands to boycott the channel by paying for billboards singling out brands, like Kellogg’s and Sainsbury’s, and stating: “These companies pay for Nigel Farage to attack RNLI lifeboat crews on his TV show.”

The poll also concluded that 57% of people do not believe that consumer goods brands should take public political stands, compared to 15% who disagreed. Only 22% of respondents said they would think more favorably of brands that cancelled ads based on “politically-motivated social media pressure,” compared to 36% who said they would think less favorably of such companies.

According to Conservative MP Brendan Clarke-Smith to The Telegraph, “These findings show the risk businesses are taking when they allow their marketing strategies to be dictated by those engaged in cancel culture.”

He added: “As always, these online mobs create noise, which is given traction by the mainstream media, but the vast majority of normal people out there just want businesses to focus on selling them the right products at the right prices.

“If Sainsbury’s wants to pander to the mob, enter the political arena and bend to the will of politically motivated campaigns, people will start changing where they shop. I don’t want my supermarket to have political views – I want it to sell me good food at competitive prices.”

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