The British advocacy group Stop Funding Hate is expanding its list of targets for an advertising boycott intended to punish newspapers that publish inflammatory, inaccurate stories about immigrants and minority groups.
This week, SFH warned one of the UK’s largest retailers, that it should withdraw all advertising from three big tabloids – or face a boycott itself.
In a public letter to the Co-operative Group, a consumer-owned organization that operates supermarkets as well as other businesses, SFH demanded the company stop advertising in the Daily Express, the Sun andDaily Mail, accusing the newspapers of printing “divisive stories about immigrants, refugees, Muslims and other groups.”
The letter was signed by hundreds of members of the Co-op, and argued: “By paying these newspapers to put our brand in their pages and on their websites, we are taking the conscious decision to associate ourselves with their content...
"Advertising in media that promotes fear, division and intolerance is the antithesis of what we should be doing. There simply must be more appropriate advertising channels and brand partnerships for the Co-op to associate with.”
The Co-op has 4.3 million members and operates 4,500 businesses across the UK, employing around 70,000 people. By virtue of its size, it is also one of the largest advertisers in Britain.SFH was founded in August 2016 in reaction to a spate of hate crimes across Britain, following the vote to leave the European Union in a referendum held in June.
SFH has previously targeted companies including Virgin Media, Gillette, EE (the UK’s largest wireless provider), Ford, Land Rover, Visa and Lego. In one notable success, in November, Lego stop advertising in the Daily Mail, one of the most vocally anti-immigrant publications.