Advertising is New Media’s Achilles heel

Kellogg Co. breakfast cereals are arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Kellogg Co. is scheduled to report 2014 fourth quarter earnings on Feb. 12. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kellogg Co. breakfast cereals Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Make no mistake New Media is going up against the establishment and it’s success with the public is tempered by its vulnerability to attacks on its advertising revenue. Breitbart News is the new News sheriff in town and is expanding rapidly but the establishment who preferred the old News sheriff still have a few bullets in their arsenal. If they can’t beat the new News by being better they will instead try to beat it by crippling it economically. It is a bit like the ageing Sheriff with arthritis trying to get rid of his rival not in a gun fight but by talking the local store into refusing to sell him any supplies for his ranch. He might be the better gunslinger but how long can he last without any supplies?

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Cereal maker Kelloggs has announced that it will no longer advertise on Breitbart.com claiming that the conservative news site’s values are not the same as its own and it is not the only brand to pull its advertising.

Kellogg’s move stemmed from customer complaints, according to the company, which makes popular cereal brands like Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies.

“We regularly work with our media buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as a company,” a Kellogg spokesperson told Fortune in an e-mail statement. “This involves reviewing websites where ads could potentially be placed using filtering technology to assess site content.

the site slammed Kellogg for the move, telling the Associated Press in a statement that Kellogg’s move was “to its own detriment” given the size of its readership. According to ComScore, the site had 19.2 million unique monthly U.S. visitors in October, significantly up from a year earlier and a record for the site.

Kellogg’s move was an act of “economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse” and is “as un-American as it gets,” Breitbart said in its statement to AP.

Other brands have also pulled ads on Breitbart, including Allstate, Nest, EarthLink, Warby Parker and SoFi, according to Digiday. Last week, AppNexus deactivated Breitbart News after an audit of the site’s content determined that it violates the advertising network ban on hate speech.

-fortune.com

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