10 Conservative Sites Blacklisted With Breitbart
A few months ago, brands started coming under fire on Twitter for having ads appear on the conservative news site Breitbart. In response, many did pull ads, including advertisers like Allstate and Modcloth. Brands have started taking blacklisting to a new level, including many more conservative sites which should not be lumped in with Breitbart.
"We have had some clients asking if we can ensure their ads do not run on Breitbart or other specific websites, and we have proactively reached out to others to let them know our options when it comes to blocking specific properties and allowing them to review our blacklist," Marcus Pratt, vice president of insights and technology at Mediasmith, told Digiday. The site also linked to a blacklist reportedly from Mediasmith, which included a broad swath of reputable websites.
Breitbart has come under fire for publishing salacious news and taking a firmly pro-Trump slant, throughout the 2016 presidential election and beyond. The site is perhaps most infamous due to its former CEO Steve Bannon, who joined the Trump campaign in August. Even those in the conservative movement have attacked the website as "Trump-bart" or a Trump version of Pravda, the notorious Russian newspaper which always followed the government line during the Soviet Union.
Indeed, the controversial Milo Yiannopoulos got his start at Breitbart.
It might make sense for advertisers to blacklist Breitbart, given its pro-Trump slant and possible conflicts of interest. Large companies like Allstate — and the AARP, Air Canada, CVS, Lufthansa, the Red Cross, and REI, all of whom have reportedly blocked Breitbart from their ad buys — might want to keep their brand off of Breitbart.
But other sites which do not have Breitbart's unique ties to President Trump are also on the list provided by Mediasmith, and that is indeed concerning. Mediasmith is an advertising agency based in California, and it counts among its clients GoToMeeting, Stanford Children's Health, and Silicon Valley Bank, among others. This list may or may not be representative of the online advertising business's trends as a whole.
Naturally, the list includes sites like ConspiracyPlanet.com, ConspiracyWire.com, and Illuminati-News.com. These make good sense. But others are less excusable or easily dismissed as "fake news."
There is another category of website on the list which also might be excused as politically understandable: websites which promote political causes. Sites such as Heartland.org (The Heartland Institute), Heritage.org (The Heritage Foundation), DailySignal.com (The Heritage Foundation's news outlet), FreedomWorks.org (FreedomWorks), MRC.org (the Media Research Center) and CitizensUnited.org (Citizens United) are political advocacy sites, and it makes sense that big brands might not want to be associated with them.
But besides a few advocacy/news sites like Advocate.org (the gay site The Advocate) and DailyKos.com (the notorious liberal Daily Kos), most of the big liberal non-profits do not show up on this list. Notable exceptions include Progressive.org, GenProgress.org (Generation Progress), MoveOn.org, MediaMatters.org, and PlannedParenthood.org. That's right — The Heritage Foundation is on the blacklist, but Planned Parenthood is not. Go figure.