Brands pull ads from GB News TV channel over 'anti-woke' content concerns
One brand said that it would only run ads on the channel if it was "genuinely balanced."
Brands including Ikea, Kopparberg and Octopus Energy have withdrawn advertising from newly-launched news channel GB News.
Kopparberg said that their advert ran "without our knowledge" and that it was undertaking a review of the channel's content, whilst Octopus Energy founder, Greg Jackson, has said that the brand will only run ads in future if GB News proves "genuinely balanced."
In a statement, Jackson said: "When it comes to where we advertise, we have a very clear policy: We do not advertise on platforms whose primary purpose is the distribution of hate."
He continued: "This is the first time we have seen the launch of a new TV channel, and it's clear that we need a way to handle this circumstance. From now on, we are asking networks not to air our ads on new channels until we've seen their output for a period of time, and can be sure they're not breaching our policy.
"As such, we're not currently running ads on GB News. We will monitor it, and only advertise if it proves to be genuinely balanced."
This is the letter I've sent to customers who emailed.
Summary: Ad slots were not planned by us. We'll monitor any new channels (including this) before running ads and will only advertise if balanced and meets our policies. pic.twitter.com/YInlVubN52
— Greg Jackson (@g__j) June 15, 2021
Meanwhile, alcohol company Kopparberg has said that it has "immediately suspended our ads from this channel pending further review of its content."
The company tweeted: "We want to make it clear to everyone that our ad ran on this channel without our knowledge or consent. Kopparberg is a drink for everyone and we have immediately suspended our ads from this channel pending further review of its content."
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We want to make it clear to everyone that our ad ran on this channel without our knowledge or consent. Kopparberg is a drink for everyone and we have immediately suspended our ads from this channel pending further review of its content
— kopparberguk (@KopparbergUK) June 14, 2021
Ikea said it had suspended its advertising, and had not knowingly booked slots on the channel. It said it had safeguards to prevent ads appearing on platforms which are not in line with the company's "humanistic values".
GB News has vowed to fight "cancel culture" and claims that it will reflect voices not heard in the media.
Whilst it did launch with higher viewing figures than both the BBC and Sky news channels, it has been plagued with technical errors and mishaps.
The BBC reports that the channel has faced criticism from campaigners such as the group Stop Funding Hate, who say its launch brings highly partisan Fox News-style programming to the UK.
However, channel figurehead and chairman of GB News, Andrew Neil, has dismissed the Fox News comparisons as "nonsense."