U.S. markets close in 1 hour 4 minutes
  • S&P 500

    4,416.08
    +28.92 (+0.66%)
     
  • Dow 30

    35,058.81
    +220.65 (+0.63%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    14,731.14
    +50.07 (+0.34%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,221.60
    +6.11 (+0.28%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    70.64
    -0.62 (-0.87%)
     
  • Gold

    1,813.30
    -8.90 (-0.49%)
     
  • Silver

    25.62
    +0.05 (+0.18%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1868
    -0.0008 (-0.07%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.1790
    +0.0050 (+0.43%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3915
    +0.0032 (+0.23%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    109.1060
    -0.2030 (-0.19%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    38,138.64
    -1,509.86 (-3.81%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    930.72
    -12.72 (-1.35%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,105.72
    +24.00 (+0.34%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    27,641.83
    -139.19 (-0.50%)
     

Moneysupermarket and Ikea climb down over GB News boycott

·5 min read
GB News presenters
GB News presenters

Moneysupermarket has become the first company to end a boycott of GB News as the price comparison website reversed a decision to "pause" advertising on the new Right-leaning channel.

A spokesman tweeted: "Just to confirm that Moneysupermarket is not boycotting its advertising on GB News, sorry for any confusion caused."

The company had tweeted on Wednesday: “We understand that there are strongly held views on both sides when it comes to this topic.

"Because GB News is such a new channel, we need time to fully understand it. With that in mind, we’ve decided to pause our ad slots pending a review.”

Ikea has also rowed back on a decision to ban its ads from appearing on the station.

A spokesman for the furniture retailer said: “On Tuesday, we took a decision to suspend advertising on GB News. While we had not actively sought to appear on the channel, the decision to suspend our advertising was taken at great speed.

“As a newly launched channel, we recognise that it is simply too soon to make an informed decision as to whether advertising there is in line with our advertising policy and brand guidelines. We want to make it clear that it was not our intention to polarise our customers or others in this debate, and a decision on our future approach will be taken in due course.”

The moves come as Andrew Neil, the lead presenter and chairman of GB News, took Octopus Energy boss Greg Jackson to task over his decision to pull its advertising.

In a tweet, Mr Neil said: "Have a look at our content. You’ll find no hate. Let me know if you want to advertise. And I’ll let you know if we want your ads. Or whether we organise a boycott of you."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Mr Jackson responded saying he had not boycotted the channel, but wanted to see it first before advertising.

The launch of the new channel has been met with a backlash by activists demanding that companies withdraw their advertising.

Campaign group Stop Funding Hate published a list of companies whose adverts had aired on GB News in an attempt to rally supporters behind a push to starve the channel of advertising income.

Kopparberg, the Swedish cider maker, was joined by the likes of Grolsch and skin care brand Nivea in suspending advertising ties with the network.

The insurer LV=, Pinterest, Specsavers and Octopus Energy also said they would review their advertising.

The Open University said it had not imposed a boycott of GB News, nor been pressured to do so.

A spokesman said: “When a new channel or publication launches, we follow a standard review process over a three-month period. We were not informed that GB News had been added to our package and were therefore unable to carry out our normal review process. Our advertising on this channel has therefore been paused while we review."

Bosch said it would end an advertising campaign on GB News "a few days early".

A spokesman for the German company said: “We have been running a short, time-limited TV advertising campaign which ends this weekend. We reserve the right to pause or end advertising on any channels. As GB News is a new channel, we felt it appropriate to end the planned adverts a few days early so we can review our position.”

The statement on Thursday did not repeat the wording of a tweet on Wednesday that said Bosch worked with its media agencies "to ensure advertising isn't shown on political channels. We have recently been made aware of an isolated example where our adverts appeared on such channels and we are dealing with this accordingly."

The Co-op Group had come under pressure this week to pull its advertising but declined to do so.

A spokesman said: “We have developed a detailed and thoughtful advertising approach, which is driven by three principles.

“We will not seek to affect the editorial independence of publications or channels. We will not undermine the commercial value of our society for our members.

“We will ensure our values and principles are clear and undiminished regardless of surrounding content.”

Several firms said they were unaware that their adverts were airing on GB News as they had been purchased as part of deals with Sky Media.

The advertising arm of Sky handles advertising sales for GB News as well as other broadcasters such as Channel 5, Fox and MTV.

Meanwhile, one GB News advertiser said it would spend more on the new channel.

Direct Bullion hailed GB News as a “breath of fresh air” and said: “We are not planning to pull our adverts. If anything, we will look to increase advertising spend.”

Paul Withers, chief executive of the Mayfair-based gold dealing firm, said: “The response we have had from the channel has been strong; we will be looking to increase our ad spend, not retract.

“Many of our customers are over 50 years old and have had enough of the same rhetoric, whether it's about investing, political issues, Brexit or Covid.

“I hear the same thing time and time again. GB News, while it may be upsetting some people, it's also breathing fresh air to others.”

GB News launched with more than 250,000 viewers on Sunday night, easily beating both BBC News and Sky News in the ratings, despite its opening night being beset by technical difficulties.

The channel attracted more than 350 viewer complaints over comments made about coronavirus by Tonight Live presenter Dan Wootton on Sunday night.