Stop Funding Hate

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Stop Funding Hate
Stop Funding Hate logo.jpg
The campaign's logo
Formation August 2016
Founder Richard Cameron Wilson
Type Social Media
Location
Website www.stopfundinghate.org.uk

Stop Funding Hate is a social media campaign which aims to stop companies from advertising in, and thus providing funds for, certain British newspapers that it argues use "fear and division to sell more papers".[1]

Launch[edit]

The Stop Funding Hate campaign was set up in August 2016 by Richard Wilson, a former Corporate Fundraising Officer at Amnesty International. The campaign gained over 70,000 likes on its Facebook page in the first three days of activity[1] and the campaign's launch video was viewed over 6 million times.[2] In February 2017 Stop Funding Hate launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds, finishing with £102,721 raised.[3][4]

Campaigns[edit]

The campaign has called on companies including Aldi, Asda, Barclays, British Airways, Co-op UK, Gillette, Iceland, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Lego, Virgin Media and Waitrose to stop advertising in newspapers such as The Sun, the Daily Mail and Daily Express.[5][6][7]

Stop Funding Hate's first campaign, targeting Virgin Media, claimed that their values were "totally at odds with the Sun’s track record of misleading reporting", and was signed by over 40,000 people.[1][8] Following their coverage of the high court's November ruling on Brexit, advertisers in the Daily Mail were targeted by the campaign and its supporters using the hashtag #StopFundingHate.[9][10] In a Christmas campaign by Stop Funding Hate, the group released a mock advert in the style of John Lewis' Christmas adverts, calling on the department store to stop advertising in certain newspapers.[11]

In August 2017 Stop Funding Hate undertook its first street campaign in conjunction with the social justice charity Citizens UK. The campaign targeted mobile network operators including Sky Mobile, Virgin Mobile UK, BT Mobile, EE Limited, O2 and Tesco Mobile using the slogan "Start Spreading Love".[12]

Results[edit]

In September 2016 Specsavers withdrew an advert from the Daily Express after hundreds, including Stop Funding Hate, complained that it was funding "fear and division".[13]

Gary Lineker showed support for the campaign, saying that he had spoken to Walkers about their advertisements in The Sun.[14] Following calls from the campaign and its supporters, Lego announced in November 2016 that it was ending its advertising with the Daily Mail, stating they were "not planning any future promotional activity with the newspaper", making it the first company to end its advertising in one of the targeted newspapers since the campaign's inception.[15] In February 2017 the internet service provider Plusnet withdrew adverts from The Sun and The Body Shop announced they had no future plans to advertise in The Daily Mail after social media criticism.[16][17] In November 2017 Paperchase also announced that they would stop advertising in The Daily Mail, saying that they had "listened to customers".[18]

A campaign which targeted The Co-operative Group led to their chief executive Richard Pennycook saying in 2016 that they would be "looking at our advertising for next year to see whether we can align it more closely with our natural sources of support rather than more generic media advertising".[19] However, in a 2017 update by Nick Crofts, President of the National Members’ Council, it was stated that after investigation, "Many people buy these papers at the Co-op and some of them will be our members. Advertising in these papers also drives sales which are important to our businesses".[20]

Virgin Trains stopped selling The Daily Mail onboard the trains which it operates in conjunction with Stagecoach Group in November 2017. After criticisms that the move censored the newspapers that passengers could read, Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Rail Group, reinstated the paper in January 2018. Speaking in a statement on his own behalf and that of Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter, Branson said: "Brian and I agree that we must not ever be seen to be censoring what our customers read and influencing their freedom of choice. Nor must we be seen to be moralising on behalf of others. Instead we should stand up for the values we hold dear and defend them publicly, as I have done with the Mail on many issues over the years." [21]

Criticism[edit]

Writing for the Press Gazette, Dominic Ponsford criticised Stop Funding Hate and its campaigners for encouraging people to influence the content of newspapers they don't read themselves, and raised concerns about advertisers influencing the content of newspapers.[22] In a response to Ponsford's article, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff argued that Ponsford did not consider the "total vacuum of responsibility within the journalism world when it comes to how our content is going to affect our audience".[23] In Spiked, Naomi Firsht described the campaign as "entirely about censorship", arguing that consumers should simply not buy newspapers if they disagree with their content.[24] Writing in The Spectator, Brendan O'Neill described the campaign "elitist, repugnant and illiberal, as are all attempts at press censorship".[25] Stop Funding Hate responded to criticisms of censorship by saying that they "fully support freedom of choice & are not calling for any publication to be removed from sale".[26] The Daily Mail, responding to Paperchase's decision to cease advertising with them, described Stop Funding Hate as "a small group of hard left Corbynist individuals seeking to suppress legitimate debate and impose their views on the media".[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Louise Ridley (16 August 2016). "The Sun, Daily Mail And Express Advertisers Targeted In 'Stop Funding Hate' Campaign". Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ Morgan Harries (11 November 2016). "Could Boycotting the John Lewis Ad Really Prevent British Tabloids from Spreading Hate?". Vice. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  3. ^ Cox, Josie (16 February 2017). "Pressure group launches crowdfunding to encourage corporations to stop advertising in 'hate' media". The Independent. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Stop Funding Hate". Crowdfunder. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  5. ^ Michael Baggs (17 August 2016). "Stop Funding Hate campaign urges companies to drop newspaper adverts". BBC. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  6. ^ Nelson, Sara C (4 November 2016). "Brands Urged To Stop Advertising With Daily Mail Over Article 50 Front Page #StopFundingHate". The Huffington Post.
  7. ^ "Lego ends Daily Mail promotions after Stop Funding Hate campaign". Sky News. 13 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Virgin Media - stop advertising in the Sun". 38 Degrees. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  9. ^ "#StopFundingHate: Twitter users demand Daily Mail boycott over Brexit ruling coverage". RT. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  10. ^ Sara C Nelson (4 November 2016). "Brands Urged To Stop Advertising With Daily Mail Over Article 50 Front Page #StopFundingHate". Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  11. ^ Narjas Zatat (10 November 2016). "Mock Christmas ad tells John Lewis to stop promoting 'unity' while funding 'hate'". Indy100. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  12. ^ John Harrington (22 August 2017). "Stop Funding Hate unveils Start Spreading Love slogan with video van campaign". PR Week.
  13. ^ Aurbey Allegretti (15 September 2016). "Specsavers Apologises And Pulls Daily Express Advert After Customers' Revolt". Huffington post UK. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  14. ^ Kevin Rawlinson (11 November 2016). "Gary Lineker in talks with Walkers crisps over Sun advertising". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  15. ^ Ben Kentish (12 November 2016). "Lego ends advertising with Daily Mail after calls for companies to 'Stop Funding Hate'". The Independent. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  16. ^ Cox, Josie (10 February 2017). "Plusnet says it has stopped adverts on The Sun website after social media backlash". The Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  17. ^ Bowden, George (16 February 2017). "The Body Shop Becomes Latest Company To Cut Ties With The Daily Mail Over 'Human Rights' Concerns". Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  18. ^ a b Snowdon, Kathryn (20 November 2017). "Paperchase Apologises For Daily Mail Promotion And Says It 'Won't Ever Do It Again'". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  19. ^ Rebecca Harvey (25 October 2016). "Campaign calls for Co-op Group to rethink advertising policies". Co-Operative News. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  20. ^ Nick Crofts (23 March 2017). "An update on our advertising policy".
  21. ^ Sam Burne James (15 January 2018). "Virgin Trains reinstates Daily Mail - but who really made the decision?". Campaign. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  22. ^ Dominic Ponsford (11 November 2016). "Seeking an advertising boycott of newspapers you disagree with is an illiberal way to promote liberal values". Press Gazette. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  23. ^ Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (22 November 2016). "Pulled advertising, university newspaper bans: is backlash against UK tabloids justified?". New Statesman. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  24. ^ Naomi Firsht (17 November 2016). "The Hatefulness of Stop Funding Hate". Spiked. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  25. ^ O'Neill, Brendan (16 November 2016). "Stop Funding Hate: a nasty, elitist campaign for press censorship". The Spectator. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  26. ^ Stop Funding Hate (23 November 2016). "Stop Funding Hate on Twitter". Retrieved 23 November 2016.

External links[edit]