GERMAN MOTORING GIANT BMW and telecommunications behemoth Deutsche Telekom announced last week that they were the latest brands to pull ads from the controversial, right-wing website Breitbart.
The news came after the so-called ‘alt-right’ news and opinion site, which championed Donald Trump during the US presidential elections, announced that it will launch sister sites in France and Germany ahead of the decisive general elections in those countries in 2017.
BMW, Deutsche Telekom and the other companies that have ceased advertising on the site didn’t actively sell ads to Breitbart. Instead, their banners automatically appeared when a user from Germany logged on.
That kind of practice is normal, but the inflammatory nature of some Breitbart posts made those ads a public-relations hazard.
That said, some firms were happy to keep ads on Breitbart – including another car manufacturer, Nissan.
When queried by digital marketing agency Digiday on the subject, a spokesperson for the company said: “Nissan places ads in a variety of sites in order to reach as many consumers as possible. The placement of Nissan advertising is not intended to be a political commentary, and there are no plans to change the advertising mix at this time.”
In other words, as far as Nissan is concerned, advertising on a platform shouldn’t be taken as any kind of endorsement.
With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers: Does it matter where brands advertise?