UBC pulls ads from alt-right news outlet in U.S.

University of Montreal also removes advertising from Breitbart News

Two Canadian universities are among the organizations that have removed advertisements from an ultra-conservative news website formerly headed by a top adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The move is part of a campaign spearheaded by Sleeping Giants, an American activist group, aimed at diverting advertising dollars from Breitbart News, a far-right media outlet that came under fire during the 2016 presidential race.

“Following the U.S. election, folks around the world are looking for ways to show our support and register our outrage at the rise of the extreme far right,” said Emma Pullman of SumOfUs, which is collaborating with Sleeping Giants to target Canadian organizations.

The University of British Columbia and the University of Montreal pulled ads in recent weeks after they became aware that their promotional material was appearing on the site.

“It wasn’t the University of Montreal that chose to buy advertising on the site,” spokeswoman Genevieve Omeara said in French.

“It’s programmed publicity that is placed automatically on certain websites. We took precautions to ensure it would no longer happen.”

Susan Danard of the University of British Columbia said the school’s marketing policy normally excludes extreme political sites, but that its advertising agency had inadvertently included Breitbart to promote its new swimming pool.

“It just got accidentally on their list and when we got aware of that we asked them to pull it, which they did,” Danard said.

“I think the cost was under a dollar. It would have been pennies because it was just a localized digital ad.”

Steve Bannon, a former Breitbart News executive who is a senior adviser to Trump, has promoted the site as a champion for the so-called alt-right, a U.S.-based offshoot of conservatism that combines elements of racism, white nationalism and populism.

Breitbart couldn’t be reached for comment.

It encouraged a boycott of Kellogg’s products last month after the cereal maker said it would no longer advertise on the site, citing its “values” in explaining the decision. Breitbart said the decision by Kellogg’s was tantamount to “economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse” and “as un-American as it gets.”

SumOfUs describes itself on its website as “a community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations.” It says it consists of more than 12 million people “stopping big corporations from behaving badly.”

Pullman, the organization’s lead campaign strategist who is based in Vancouver, said the group’s strategy is multi-faceted.

“It’s symbolic, but it’s also really real and tangible. Breitbart relies on advertising dollars to fund the website,” she added.

“If you can interrupt its flow of advertising dollars you can actually interrupt its ability to globally expand, which the company has said it would like to do.”

Sleeping Giant says so far 750 advertisers around the world, including some in Canada, have blocked Breitbart from their media plan.

Geordon Omand, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

RCMP officer cleared in Prince George arrest

A suspect’s leg was fractured in 2015 incident

Area timber supply cut by a third

More sustainable, pre pine beetle timber cut levels restored

Students dig in to finish harvesting garden produce

Hands-on healthy living education produces results in October, F2S month

New equipment for Vanderhoof public works

New generation grader and sweeper hitting the streets

BC Ferries restricts passengers from lower vehicle decks

The new regulations will no longer allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on closed car decks.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Most Read