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Advertisers look set to stick with Daily Mail despite Lord Sugar's calls to pull spend over Miliband reporting

By Gregor Cubie |

October 3, 2013 | 3 min read

The Daily Mail’s main advertising partners appeared to be sticking by the under-fire newspaper today, despite calls for a boycott over its controversial coverage of Ed Miliband's late father.

The Drum reported that Lord Sugar was among those to call for companies to pull adverts from Daily Mail titles, as well as demanding the resignation of editor in chief, Paul Dacre.

Former Downing Street head of communications Alastair Campbell has been another voracious critic of the Mail over the past week, and today called out Dacre for a live, televised debate through a change.org petition.

However, at the time of writing, the pressure seemed to have been insufficient to sway many of the Mail’s key advertising partners, with a Waitrose spokeswoman commenting that, “We’re not going to change anything at the present time.”

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Euan Fordyce of British Airways was similarly unwilling to be drawn into a debate on media ethics:“For the Daily Mail and all the other media organisations with which we advertise, it is not our practice to pronounce judgment on editorial policy.”

Sources within BSkyB hinted that the company would be adopting the same policy, suggesting there are no plans to change its current media plan.

However, these companies’ public refusal to criticise the paper conflicts with reports from the likes of Channel Four’s Alex Thomson, who tweeted: “Mail - coming under financial pressure now? Am told no ads today in paper from Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Waitrose.”

The Co-operative’s head of corporate PR, Patrick Tooher refused to comment on the matter while Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have yet to release statements.

The Drum has also spoke to several media buying companies, none of which would go on the record but signalled that they had not been asked to pull their spend on Daily Mail titles, nor were they expecting the situation to change.

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