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GB News popularity boosted by boycott campaigns as viewers welcome advertiser absence


By John Glenday | Reporter

August 16, 2021 | 3 min read

A bid to pull the financial rug out from under the feet of GB News by applying pressure on advertisers to blacklist the broadcaster may ultimately prove to be counterproductive, according to a new poll of viewer sentiment.

neil oliver on gb news

A survey suggests GB News has benefitted from its adverse reception in the press

Asked whether an advertiser boycott made people more likely to tune into the news network, some 29% confirmed that it would - significantly ahead of the 14% turned off the station by the advertiser exodus.

What has the poll found?

  • Sainsbury's, Kopparberg & Grolsch are among the household names to distance themselves by either suspending or scrapping GB News advertising in the wake of pressure from groups such as Stop Funding Hate and Led By Donkeys.

  • But a poll of 1,000 people conducted by CT Group, commissioned by GB News, found that 57% of the public agreed with the statement that consumer goods brands should not adopt overt political views – with just 15% in disagreement.

  • Commenting on the findings, Conservative MP Brendan 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."

  • GB News has been hit by a string of bad news stories since its launch, with advertisers and audiences vanishing and some programmes suffering the ignominy of drawing zero viewers.

  • The rocky start was precipitated by a high profile advertiser stushie which saw many brands unhappy at their TV ads being inadvertently carried by the troubled channel as a result of block-buying of broadcast space.

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