'BuzzFeed' Dumps Trump Ads

While that nation’s chattering classes profess to be shocked by the rise of Donald Trump, whose meteoric campaign is now veering increasingly into hot-button racial issues, few news media sites have taken a principled stand by refusing to accept the real estate mogul and reality star’s political advertising.

BuzzFeed became the first national news outlet to swear off Trump’s ad dollars.

In an email to BuzzFeed employees also published on the site, CEO Jonah Peretti said the company had canceled a $1.3 million contract with the Republican National Committee to run political ads for Trump’s presidential campaign beginning in the fall — in the final key months before the election on November 8.

Peretti cited Trump’s inflammatory statements and insulting language about Muslims, Mexicans and women, among other groups, as reasons for terminating the deal with the RNC.

He argued that Trump’s policies would directly harm BuzzFeed’s own employees or impede its ability to continue publishing.



Taking Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration and international travel as an example, Peretti wrote: “The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.”

Peretti added: “We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases, we must make business exceptions: We don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.”

On the editorial side, BuzzFeed will continue to cover the Trump campaign, editor-in-chief Ben Smith affirmed in a separate email to staffers, noting of the decision to reject RNC ads: “This was Jonah’s call, and the prerogative of a publisher.”

While rejection by one publisher is unlikely to spell success or failure for a presidential campaign — especially when it’s a left-leaning “progressive” outlet like BuzzFeed — the site’s rejection of Trump ads highlights the mounting obstacles the Republican Party faces in connecting to millennials. They are a politically engaged, if often unreliable voting bloc, who have also displayed a fairly strong aversion to Trump.

In April, a poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics, voters ages 18-29 preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump as president by 61% to 25%.

7 comments about "'BuzzFeed' Dumps Trump Ads".
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  1. Ken Kueker from Billboard Connection, June 6, 2016 at 3:41 p.m.

    No big suprise.  There are always closed minded people who don't feel that openly discussing and debating issues is the best way to go.

  2. Chris Kitze from Before It's News, June 6, 2016 at 3:54 p.m.

    That's pretty hilarious.  The Buzzfeed people don't realize that they are now officially IRRELEVANT and by doing this they let half the people (Trump supporters) know not to ever visit their site again.  Wow that was stupid, Business 101 = never get your business involved in politics.  Trump will save money and get the votes he'll end up with any way.  The other point is the Dem nominee won't feel like they need to spend as much advertising on Buzzfeed to counter any Trump ad spend.  Looks to me like they shot themselves in both feet!  Ouch!!

  3. Anglyn Hays from Free Lance Writer Hire Me!, June 6, 2016 at 4:08 p.m.

    "BuzzFeed’s own employees or impede its ability to continue publishing."  Finally, someone on Madison Avenue is thinking in terms of their own survival.  That is encouraging to say the least.  For many decades now, publishers and advertisers alike believed they could go anywhere and the baby boomers were bound to accept it.  And they did.  Only today, the boomers are a minority population among adults.  The playing field has changed, and very very slowly, the boomer world of Madison Avenue advertising is starting to figure out things have changed.  California's offer to tax political ads at 1000% is actually doing publishers a favor.  If they are stupid enough to keep taking the money, the egg on their faces will be self imposed.  How just, how easy is that!?!  I like it.  But the poll is between baby boomer to baby boomer, they were born within two years of each other, and represent the worst that generation is to offer the world.  Hilliary is just as dirty as Donald, they belong in the same race.

  4. Peter Rosenwald from Consult Partners, June 6, 2016 at 4:46 p.m.

    Congratulations! You are putting your beliefs ahead of the bottom line. May others follow your good example on either side of the argument.

  5. Anglyn Hays from Free Lance Writer Hire Me! replied, June 6, 2016 at 4:59 p.m.

    Actually all advertising is irrelevant to Trump or Hilliary supporters because the din of their supporter's (read "elder's") internal monologue is too loud for anything else to break in.  really if you support either candidate you are from the older generation, the youngers don't support either.  there is a generational line, and the candidates, left or right, are it.  What does that mean for political advertising, lol.

  6. Rick Thomas from MediaRich Marketing, June 6, 2016 at 5:55 p.m.

    Well how dare anyone think that an independent company cannot pick and choose what ads they can or cannot take.  Advertisers balk at putting content on Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh right?  Why can't the media turn down advertising from those promoting hatred while their workforce is diverse and Trump has insulted pretty much every person on that staff except for maybe white guys which actually is the last group left on Trump's list?

    How 'bout this?  What if the Ku Klux Klan wanted to advertise on Buzzfeed.  Should they take those ads? 

    Every media outlet has the right to make this type of decision.  Buzzfeed made it for the best of its employees and for the quality of its long term brand.  And it won't hurt them.  The CEO of The Home Depot is a GOP supporter and the owner of the Chicago Cubs is as well.  I just want some nails and 9 good innings from my boys at Wrigley.  I will take care of my voting preferences tomorrow here in Cali and in November.

  7. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston replied, June 6, 2016 at 7:06 p.m.

    I believe that fallacious argument is called reductio ad hitlerum (with the KKK as a twist). Anything is justifiable if the KKK is the only alternative.

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