Multiple advertisers including Grolsch, Nivea, and Ikea have pulled their ads from popular UK news channel GB News, days after its Sunday debut.
The news channel has positioned itself as an alternative to the legacy mainstream media broadcasters and promised to “approach stories differently and challenge media conventions.”
But this promise to finally offer a different perspective on the news has attracted the attention of cancel groups such as Stop Funding Hate – a group that pressures advertisers into pulling their support from publications that it subjectively deems to be spreading “hate and division.”
Months before GB News even launched, Stop Funding Hate accused the broadcaster of bringing “Fox News Style” TV to Britain and called on its hundreds of thousands of social media followers to contact advertisers and demand that they don’t advertise on GB News.
After GB News’ Sunday debut, a pressure campaign listing the contact details of GB News’ advertisers on a dedicated “Boycott GB News” website was urging its followers to “put direct pressure on them to drop their advertising.”
While GB News commitment to offering an alternative to the mainstream media has proved popular with viewers and it has already attracted viewership numbers that are close to those of established mainstream media rivals such as Sky News within its first two days on the air, advertisers are already starting to bow to the demands of these cancel campaigns.
So far, six brands, Kopparberg, Grolsch, Nivea, the Open University, Ikea, and Octopus Energy, have pulled their ads from GB News, with Stop Funding Hate continuing to pressure those who have yet to cow to its demands.
The cancel campaign against GB News illustrates how difficult it is for alternative voices to break through and challenge the mainstream media.
Mainstream media outlets are free to provide one-sided coverage of newsworthy issues with financial support from Big Tech.
Yet when other outlets attempt to offer a different perspective, they’re censored by Big Tech or targeted by pressure groups that go after their funding.