Business

Breitbart urges readers to boycott Kellogg after ads pulled

Breitbart News, the conservative U.S. news and opinion website known for its vociferous support of president-elect Donald Trump, is calling on readers to boycott Kellogg food products after the company pulled advertising from the website.

Editor claims Kellogg stopped advertising on website 'in order to placate left-wing totalitarians'

Conservative media outlet Breitbart is encouraging its readers to boycott Kellogg products after the cereal maker said it would no longer advertise on its site. (John Raoux/Associated Press)

Breitbart News, the conservative U.S. news and opinion website known for its vociferous support of president-elect Donald Trump, is calling on readers to boycott Kellogg food products after the company pulled advertising from the website.

Anti-Kellogg content on the Breitbart homepage Friday urged readers to "Sign the petition never to buy Kellogg's again!"

The Breitbart News website said the petition had 246,000 signatories as of Friday afternoon.

The tempest in a cereal bowl began after Kellogg Company announced it would stop advertising on Breitbart earlier this week, following a social media campaign that targeted companies that have advertised on Breitbart in the past.

"We regularly work with our media buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren't aligned with our values as a company," Kellogg spokeswoman Kris Charles told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

"This involves reviewing websites where ads could potentially be placed using filtering technology to assess site content. As you can imagine, there is a very large volume of websites, so occasionally something is inadvertently missed."

Breitbart's values vs. Kellogg's values

The values espoused by Breitbart garnered international attention during the fraught U.S. presidential campaign, attention that has only increased since president-elect Trump named former Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist on Nov. 13.

Critics of Breitbart allege the website promotes racist, sexist, homophobic, and nativistic sentiment.

Past Breitbart headlines such as "There's No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews" and "Hoist it High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage" have attracted negative attention from international media.

In a November interview with the Wall Street Journal, Bannon dismissed the accusations against himself and Breitbart as "just nonsense."
The petition on Breitbart.com decries Kellogg's decision to pull advertising as "a disgraceful act of cowardice." (CBC)

The public fracas offers Kellogg a good chance to define its brand, according to one marketing expert.

"With that appeal of upholding certain American values, [Kellogg] strikes a resonant chord with its consumers," said Ken Wong, professor of marketing at Queen's University's Smith School of Business in Kingston, Ont.

"It is all about targeting your customers and having the discipline to do what those customers want, even if other customers reject you on the same basis," said Wong.

Other companies pull ads from Breitbart

Kellogg isn't the only company to remove its ads from Breitbart: pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, glasses retailer Warby Parker, and the San Diego Zoo have all said they were pulling their ads from the site.

Retailer Target and insurer Allstate have also stopped advertising on Breitbart, reports AP.

Kellogg, however, appears to have incurred the brunt of Breitbart's online wrath.

"For Kellogg, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice," Breitbart News editor in chief Alexander Marlow is quoted as saying in a Wednesday article on the website.

"If you serve Kellogg's products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table," said Marlow.

On Thursday, a Kellogg spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the decision to pull ads had "nothing to do with politics."

The campaign has been met with mixed reactions on social media, with some Breitbart fans publically expressing their displeasure:

Other social media users said they supported Kellogg for its stance:​

Kellogg Company stock was down 3.31 per cent for the week as of market close on Friday

With files from The Associated Press

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