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. “Yes, because what a terrible idea it would be for a broadcaster to be on the side of the majority of people in this country who voted to leave the European, as against spending five years telling them off.”

    Sadly, this comment by ‘Zippy’ is a perfect example of why Britain is turning into such a toilet.

    The BBC is provably pro-Brexit. This is not an opinion. It is a hard fact proven by repeated content analysis studies. It is empirical data: The BBC gives far more air time to pro-Brexit voices than anti-Brexit voices.

    Yet people like ‘Zippy’ live in an alternate reality; one in which they can watch a television station which is unarguably pro-Brexit and somehow work themselves up into a froth-mouthed rage about how anti-Brexit it is.

    In 2021, the only reality for most people is the one they choose to see. They live in Facebook echo chambers where all day, every day, algorithms feed them propaganda and drivel which affirms their existing misconceptions and prejudices and it does not matter of there is unassailable evidence to the contrary.

    Imagine being so far down the rabbit hole that you ACTUALLY believe Nigel Farage, Andrew Neil and Dan Wootton — all super-rich media figures — are marginalised voices who have been censored by the mainstream media.

  2. 17.4 million actually and only 16.1 million out of a population of 66 million voted to remain if you wanna look at it that way. How do you know that a large proportion of leave voters were over 75? Did you ask everyone? I was 54 in 2016 and I voted leave,as did my wife who was 51! . Finally,’far right’? . I watched G.B News on the opening night and oh yes,so much racism,xenophobia,bigotry,fascism,neo-nazism,hatred and anti Islam propaganda.. Hopefully this ‘far right Baloney’ as you laughingly call it is here to stay,if only to counter the left wing bias of the other News channels.

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