The leftist advertiser boycott launched against Brexit leader Nigel Farage and GB News is likely to backfire, as a poll found that Brits would be likely to watch the channel as a result.
A poll of 1,000 people conducted by the CT Group, commissioned by GB News, found that 29 per cent of respondents would be more likely to watch the upstart anti-woke news network following the advertiser boycotts launched against the channel.
A further 57 per cent of those polled said that consumer goods companies should refrain from taking political stances, and 36 per cent said that they would view companies who cancel ads less favourably, The Telegraph reported.
Even before GB News aired its first programme, the left-wing activist group ‘Stop Funding Hate’ launched a campaign against it, successfully pressuring Swedish cider-maker Kopparberg, Ikea, Nivea, Specsavers, and Grolsch to drop their advertisements.
Founder and lead anchor of the channel, Andrew Neil, criticised the moves from the advertisers, saying in June: “Woke nonsense has reached the boardroom and corporate capitalism is becoming the useful idiot of bigots bent on censorship.”
“GB News viewers are incensed with advertisers who’ve taken against us. Many have written to tell them so. And their numbers are growing. For three nights in a row this show has been the number one rated show on any news channel available in the UK,” Neil pointed out.
Earlier this month, the anti-Brexit group Led by Donkeys claimed to have successfully pressured the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s to drop their advertisements from GB News. Sainsbury’s, for its part, denied that the decision to stop advertising with the network was motivated by the campaign.
Sainsbury’s Pulls Ads from Farage Show After Woke Campaign, Despite Topping BBC and Sky in Ratings https://t.co/CqFceDPsP5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 9, 2021
Responding to the poll, Brendan Clarke-Smith, the Conservative MP for Bassetlaw, said that “the vast majority of normal people out there just want businesses to focus on selling them the right products at the right prices.”
Mr Clarke-Smith said: “These findings show the risk businesses are taking when they allow their marketing strategies to be dictated by those engaged in cancel culture.
“As always, these online mobs create noise, which is given traction by the mainstream media, but the vast majority of normal people out there just want businesses to focus on selling them the right products at the right prices.
“If Sainsbury’s wants to pander to the mob, enter the political arena and bend to the will of politically motivated campaigns, people will start changing where they shop. I don’t want my supermarket to have political views – I want it to sell me good food at competitive prices.”
Despite widely publicised technical issues at launch, GB News has seen recent success, particularly after the hiring of Brexit leader Nigel Farage, whose prime time tv show has topped BBC News and Sky News in the ratings combined.
Farage Beats BBC and Comcast’s Sky News COMBINED in Ratings: Report https://t.co/wEQewDsiiq
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 7, 2021
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