GB News launch ad boycott: Campaign stepped up as channel launches

Ad boycott campaign ramps up as opinion-led GB News launches with scepticism of lockdown and taking the knee

GB News launch faces renewed ad boycott campaign

GB News launched its opinion-led take on broadcast news and a new website on Sunday, prompting a campaign group to seek to shut it down with an ad boycott.

Google Trends showed a surge in interest for GB News on the search engine with 200,000+ searches yesterday (Sunday) and GB News was also trending on Twitter.

The channel has been widely trailed as Britain’s answer to Fox News.

[Update: Kopparberg, Grolsch and Nivea suspend advertising with GB News]

But interviewed by Press Gazette, GB News director of news John McAndrew said: “My view of our channel, and certainly how it’s going to be, is that it will be a very warm, inclusive channel where disagreements will be had, tough subjects will absolutely be taken on, but they’ll be taken on in a classy and courteous fashion.

“What this won’t be is a hate-filled divisive shout-fest that some people seem to have characterised it as, which is 180 degrees away from where we want to be.”

In terms of its early political positioning some of the channel’s presenters have voiced strong scepticism of “taking the knee” as an appropriate way to demonstrate against racism.

And showbiz specialist Dan Wootton has written a website comment piece condemning coronavirus lockdowns and urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to fully open up the UK economy today (Monday) despite surging coronavirus infection rates.

He said: “… the doomsday scientists and public health officials have taken control.

“They’re addicted to the power and the government are satisfied its 15-month-long never-ending scare campaign has suitably terrified the public into supporting lockdowns. But if we don’t fight back against this madness, some of the damage will be irreversible.”

GB News launch Andrew Neil

On taking the knee GB News presenter Inaya Folarin Iman said: “Most ordinary people wouldn’t care but it’s increasingly becoming a way to express your intellectual and moral superiority.

“Many people regard it as divisive… They’re effectively waging a culture war against the fans.”

However fellow presenter Rebecca Hutson said: “I have to say I was very proud to see the boys take the knee yesterday. It made me proud to be British.”

Former leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage was one of the channel’s first guests, fuelling the perception that GB News is seeking to appeal to voters outside London who voted to leave the European Union in 2016.

[Read more: In-depth briefing on GB News]

GB News launch ad boycott

Campaign group Stop Funding Hate has already seen enough of GB News to ramp up its campaign to drive the channel off the airwaves.

It has begun compiling a list of brands advertising on the fledgling channel and it has urged its 120,000 followers on Twitter to exert pressure on them on social media.

Early advertisers included: Octopus energy, Ikea, Deliveroo, Starbucks, Bosch, Co-op and WWF. They are already being targeted by Twitter users who disagree with GB News’ perceived right-wing agenda.

Advertising sales for the channel are being handled by Sky Media.

Stop Funding Hate has previously persuaded brands to withdraw advertising from right-wing newspaper titles such as The Sun and Daily Mail.



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette


18 thoughts on “Ad boycott campaign ramps up as opinion-led GB News launches with scepticism of lockdown and taking the knee”

  1. So is this an anti GB news campaign between it doesn’t suit some peoples agenda? Let’s just remember, woke and BLM are Marxist born groups. Marxism is a FAILED Russian political system, which backed everyone informing on their neighbours for political difference and a police state where people disappeared no matter, if they were innocent or not. If people want to follow a communist political agenda, bugger off to North Korea if you think lifes hard in the UK. You have no respect for history, no respect for authority, no respect of other peoples opinions, no respect for FACTS even when they smack you in the face. If you don’t get your own way, you abuse our history, doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong they are visible reminders so we don’t make the same mistakes. Christian preacher being removed and arrested by police but it’s ok for muslims to do it over the thames in london, where is the equality, where is the acceptance that everyone is NOT the same? A lot of us never used a minority difference in a derogatory way and yet all of a sudden anyone that is white, is a racist, since when. Here’s more….my family dates back to the 1700s and not one of them was involved in the slave trade, so as far as I am concerned, i have nothing to feel guilty about and yet, they try to make us all feel guilty for something most of us had nothing to do with. You want to be inclusive? Stop keeping yourselves to yourselves and integrate with British people. Same with people who have “gender difference” issues, they are inclusive, until others made a big deal out of it. Khan is spending millions on a block of flats EXCLUSIVELY for LGBGTUVWXYZ, how is that making them feel inclusive? It doesn’t and all it does is upset tax payers who belief money should be spent on more worthwhile issues, like the emergency services, helping those that are homeless, mental health….but no it gets wasted on petty unworthy rubbish

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