British brands pull ad spend from RT UK over Vladimir Putin 'propaganda' fears

British brands pull ad spend from RT UK over Vladimir Putin 'propoganda' fears / RT UK

Top UK advertisers are reportedly pulling ads from RT UK over fears the channel is being used to spread "propaganda and fake news" on behalf of Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

According to the Sunday Times, brands like Coral, Max Factor and Direct Line have cancelled ads on the network news channel.

RT UK, the UK version of the Kremlin-backed news channel formerly known as Russia Today hit back at claims it was spreading misinformation saying it was an "editorially independent, autonomous non-profit global news organisation."

Around 180 British and multinational companies are thought to advertise on RT UK according to the Times, with the channel's ad business estimated to be worth £1.5m per-year.

Guerillascope found brands paid an average of £12.95 for a 30-second slot on RT UK, significantly less than the £30,000 requested for the same timeframe on ITV.

The news channel hit headlines earlier this year after Natwest threatened to close its bank account prompting accusations of censorship from the state-funded media outlet, however the decision has now been reversed.

The UK broadcaster was previously found to have breached Ofcom regulations, with the watchdog ruling that parts of the show were "materially misleading".

Advertisers like KFC and Booking.com were still running slots on RT UK last week, however the Times points out that the firms may not have been aware of the other cancellations if the ads were sold as part of agency packages.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.