While the WaPo admitted, two weeks after its infamous hit piece on “fringe media” which it labelled as “Russian propaganda fake news“, that its entire article was based on reporting that was wrong, the adverse consequences are piling up for the sites named in the list, among which the popular conservative hangout Breitbart. German carmaker BMW, the restaurant chain Vapiano, supermarket chain Rewe, and Deutsche Telekom have all pulled their ads from the pro-Trump news site due to concerns about its content, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
“The positions held by Breitbart.com contrast with Vapiano’s values, such as openness and tolerance,” said the restaurant chain offering Italian food across Europe and the US.
Deutsche Telekom is also present on the American market through its subsidiary T-mobile, the third-largest wireless carrier in the US. Replying to a DW inquiry, Deutsche Telekom said they “very much regret” that their ads appeared on Breitbart, which according to Deutsche Welle “is often branded a far-right hate site.”
The company “does not tolerate discriminatory actions or statements in any way,” a representative for the company said. “We reacted immediately, taken the ads off and put the site on a blacklist,” they told DW.
The move by German corporations coincides with Twitter campaigns that pressure companies to cut off ad revenue to far-right outlets – the Stop Funding Hate in the UK and the Kein Geld Für Rechts (No Money for the Right) in Germany. It follows a similar decision last week, when as we reported before US cereal company Kellogg’s also pulled its ads from Breitbart, saying that its “values” were not aligned with those propagated on the website.
Breitbart, whose former executive chairman is currently Obama’s right hand man Steve Bannon, responded with a slew of anti-Kellogg’s articles, decrying the cereal company as “far-left” and calling for a boycott of its products.
The “left-wing causes and projects” backed by Kellogg’s included Save the Children Fund, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the World Wildlife Fund, according to information presented on the site.
While it is unclear how the spat between advertisers and content providers will be resolved, and if it will ultimately see the involvement of Donald Trump as an “arbiter”, it is becoming increasingly clear that the push to starve any website that opposes mainstream media ideology has only just begun.