The Stop Funding Hate campaign has recently found itself where it wants to be, in the media spotlight. Paperchase became one of the highest profile advertisers to react to campaign pressure and apologise for a recent promotion (see here). While Pizza Hut have also now apologised over a free pizza promotion in The Sun.
Leaving aside personal views for the moment, Stop Funding Hate raises some interesting points for media planners. We plan as effectively as we can taking all sorts of data into consideration as we plot and strategise ways to achieve our client’s objectives. What weight should we give to social media pressure?
Stop Funding Hate exists to persuade advertisers to do what their name suggests by stopping companies spending their advertising dollar with publishers who they consider to be ‘using fear and division to spread hate’, namely the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun. They do so by encouraging consumers to politely communicate their distaste towards these advertisers, particularly through social media channels.
As media planners it’s vital that we stay entirely neutral when considering what’s best for our clients. Personal politics or beliefs shouldn’t come into the equation. If it so happens that one of the above mentioned publications reaches the ideal audience then we can’t discount it based on our own individual ideals. A single ad insertion in The Sun, Mail and Express reaches over 7 million adults. However, we also have a responsibility to be fully aware of external factors such as Stop Funding Hate. We should explain the potential consequences of our advertising decisions to the client who may wish to avoid any controversy, or may have their own views on those publishers.
Interestingly Paperchase has seen a 6% brand awareness spike since this story went public, very useful pre-Christmas! How cynical would we have to be to consider a major campaign in the Daily Mail only to very publicly cancel it and apologise to customers for a terrible lapse of judgement? Far more cynical than me, I can guarantee that.