Whenever I tell people that I’m studying journalism, there are always mixed reactions, and I have to say the only positive ones have been because they are my family and friends…. although sometimes even they can’t hide their skepticism. You see, journalists have always had this stigma of being untrustworthy and snaky. Not because they all are, but when you see articles of journalists tearing into a deceased daughter because of her drug addiction or treating helpless refugees like vermin, it’s hard not to agree.
That’s where the Stop Funding Hate campaign comes in. The campaign was set up in August 2016 by a guy called Richard Wilson in order to call upon companies to stop advertising and funding certain UK newspapers, *cough* Daily Mail and The Sun *cough*, due to propagating negative images in peoples minds about immigration and race. The Daily Express and co’s falling sales has meant their tactics to gain readership have become more aggressive and antagonistic in the recent years. How this is only happening now though is beyond me, but better late than never right?
Well their campaign has finally had a massive breakthrough this week with Lego becoming the first major brand to end their promotional activity with the Daily Mail. Lego has explained that they are listening to their customers after an open letter from a father to Lego was published on Facebook, accusing the brand of going against it’s brand values due to the partnership. Now, some pessimistic people would say this is all a PR tactic in order to look good and gain more sales, and maybe it is, but who cares? They have become modern day heroes paving the way for other companies. And it’s worked!
Gary Lineker has become the first mainstream public figure to stand up for what he believes in, saying that he’s in talks with Walkers, with whom he’s a brand ambassador, over their advertising with The Sun, following their anti-refugee stories. What a powerful, admirable message this sends out to the media, right? However, Walkers are proving that some companies care more about money than morals by releasing this statement: “We are very successful partnership with Gary Lineker and we will continue to do so. Our advertising approach is not determined by the editorial stances of individual newspapers.”
And whilst this may be disappointing, John Lewis seem to have the same stance too, but this hasn’t disheartened the campaigners. With over 60,000 mentions of the #StopFundingHate on Twitter, it’s popularity grows, along with peoples awareness, strengthening the campaigners to continue targeting brands that advertise in the Sun, Express and Mail. But be sure to keep supporting this powerful, positive change within the media, and perhaps make the switch to Pringles to really prove a point!