- Title: Breitbart takes aim at Kellogg's for pulling ads
- Date: 1st December 2016
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) PADSQUAD SALES DIRECTOR, SCOTT ROTHSTEIN, SAYING: "I think, Kellogg's is perfectly within their rights to choose where they want to run advertising, and, if their customers think, as apparently some customers were complaining, if their customers find it objectionable that these ads are running on Breitbart, then, perhaps, they are serving their customers' needs. If it's the opinion of the people doing the advertising, that's a little questionable, because it's, you know, Kellogg's is a public company, so they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. For them to cut the advertising at Breitbart now, it's a little bit more challenging in this landscape because of programmatic advertising on digital and mobile landscapes and, soon to be, on TV or to a limited degree on TV now. But it's certainly doable. I mean, everybody has blacklists of sites or content that they find objectionable."
- Embargoed: 16th December 2016 20:36
- Keywords: Kellogg's Breitbart News Steve Bannon cereal advertising Scott Rothstein
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA0025B208EL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Breitbart News wants its readers to forgo Special K.
The conservative website, founded by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon, posted a #DumpKelloggs petition on its website encouraging users to stop buying Kellogg's products, after Brietbart said the cereal giant pulled advertising from the site.
More than 150,000 people had signed the petition by Thursday (December 1) afternoon.
On its website, Breitbart said the decision would make "virtually no revenue impact", but it represented "an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House".
The sales director at advertising agency PadSquad said advertising decisions are often made with the customer in mind.
"I think, Kellogg's is perfectly within their rights to choose where they want to run advertising," said Scott Rothstein.
"And, if their customers think, as apparently some customers were complaining, if their customers find it objectionable that these ads are running on Breitbart, then, perhaps, they are serving their customers needs."
"Usually the advertiser, as you're executing the buy, or as you're setting it up, will say 'here's the list of sites that I don't want to run against,' or 'here's the kind of content that I don't want to run against.' And we we honor those. We set it up so that it doesn't happen. So, this is unusual only in the sense that it's become a public discussion about where it's running," Rothstein said.
Rothstein agreed that Kellogg's withdrawing ads would not hurt Breitbart's bottom line, but he said brands needed to be cautious when taking political stands.
"If brands start becoming aligned politically one way or the other, then, yes, that would be significant. I don't think it's in Kellogg's interest or any of the other big brands, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, pick your big brand. I don't think it's in their interest, and they usually try and avoid these kinds of controversies because they are such broad-based consumers that you know they appeal to," he said.
Kellogg's did not respond to a Reuters' reporter's email and phone call by Thursday afternoon, but in a statement to Variety, the company explained its position.
"To be clear, our decision had nothing to do with politics. 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 set forth in our advertising guidelines," Variety reported the statement from Kellogg's representative Kris Charles read.
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