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

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

First Past the Post is the only option

Letter to the Editor by Dieter Bogs of Trail

Acid tainted vehicles from Trail spills, held for evidence

Contaminated vehicles are evidence in ICBC’s lawsuit against “negligent parties”

Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary swears in 7 new directors and 6 returning directors

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Most Read