BuzzFeed Ends Ad Deal With Republican Party Citing “Tone and Substance” of Trump Campaign
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In an email to staff, CEO Jonah Peretti likened ‘Trump for President’ ads to those promoting cigarettes.
BuzzFeed pulled out of an advertising agreement with the Republican National Committee citing the “tone and substance” of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
CEO Jonah Peretti announced the decision not to run Trump for President ads in an email to staff on Monday morning. In the memo, which was published in full at BuzzFeed and Politico, Peretti wrote that the decision was made because “the Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.”
BuzzFeed had entered into a advertising agreement with the RNC for what Peretti described as “a significant amount” of political ads that would run during the Fall election cycle. Politico reported that the deal was worth $1.3 million.
“We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funs all the important work we do across the country,” he continued. “However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.”
Peretti also noted that the termination of the deal will not influence BuzzFeed’s coverage of the campaign, which is overseen by editor-in-chief Ben Smith. The online news outlet has had a contentious relationship with Trump and reporters from the outlet have, in several instances, been denied credentials for Trump events.
The RNC did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter‘s request for comment, but spokesman Sean Spicer told CNN that “space was reserved on many platforms, but we never intended to use BuzzFeed.”