The precise nature of who regularly reads Breitbart News (and why), became a popular topic of discussion through the presidential campaign. All this attention was due largely to the website’s support of President-elect Donald Trump, and his bringing former executive Steve Bannon onto the campaign and into the White House. Despite all parties apparently “winning” the election, however, Breitbart has faced mounting criticism for its support of white nationalist or white supremacist arguments that are falsely generalized by the group that prefers to be known as the “alt-right.” For example, Kellogg’s and several companies have pulled their advertising from the site.
According to the Los Angeles Times, once Breitbart caught wind of advertisers’ collective efforts to remove their products from its pages, they decided to launch a counteroffensive with the #DumpKelloggs campaign. “Kellogg’s decision to blacklist one of the largest conservative media outlets in America is economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse. That is as un-American as it gets,” a Breitbart spokesperson said in a statement, adding their readers “are also a powerful consumer group that reflects the values of mainstreet America.”
With the help of a headline article on Wednesday and a trending Twitter hashtag, Breitbart hoped its efforts would encourage those companies who’d already pulled out to return. (Not to mention discourage other producers from following their lead.) Considering the response from Kellogg’s — one of the biggest companies named in the pullout — and others, however, it seems Breitbart’s bullying tactics aren’t working.
Per the Los Angeles Times:
The Kellogg Co. said in a statement that it regularly works with media buying partners to “ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as set forth in our advertising guidelines.”
Kellogg’s guidelines state that it won’t place ads in media that “encourages offensive behavior to others, or where the media is not consistent with our product or corporate image.”
Kellogg’s and other companies initially began pulling their ads from Breitbart when a boycott effort undertaken by Sleeping Giants, a massive effort enacted by social media, caught their attention. According to Mashable, the boycott’s organizers claimed responsibility for the pullout by identifying a growing list of companies whose advertising had been confirmed removed from the Breitbart website.
Meanwhile, Mashable also noticed a sudden shift in the #DumpKelloggs hashtag’s use among Twitter users. Mainly, that tweets by accounts self-identifying as staunch supporters of Breitbart News and President-elect Trump were quickly overtaken by the pranksters, comedians, and trolls who typify the Internet’s social machinery.