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Advertisers part ways with GB News

Britain's Fox-style news channel is already losing commercial support.

Britain's Fox-style news channel is already losing commercial support.

Britain’s latest news and opinion channel GB News is losing advertisers less than one week after it launched to viewers.

The brands are pulling their advertisements from the channel over concerns that the network doesn’t share its values.

Companies pulling their ads from the channel include the furniture store Ikea, beverage distributors Kopparberg and Grolsch, and personal care brand Nivea.

Launched on Sunday, GB News aims to offer an alternative to mainstream, government-funded and commercial news channels with a blend of political-focused news stories interspersed with right-leaning opinion programming. The channel is largely seen as a substitute for those who have grown disenfranchised with the BBC, the taxpayer-funded broadcast network whose news output is occasionally criticized for its perceived political correctness and cultural bias.

After early comparisons, executives at the news channel rejected claims that it will operate in the same fashion as the Fox News Channel, the high-rated American news channel whose conservative opinion programming draws a sizable cable audience.

But since launching, the channel’s slate of commentators have not shied away from the fact that GB News is ultimately a platform that favors controversy over fact-based news.

GB News is distributed via Freeview, Britain’s digital broadcast service, as well as via satellite and pay television platforms. It also offers an online stream that is accessible from the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. Programs are supported through commercials that play out during normal breaks.

On Wednesday, a consortium of brands said they were unaware their commercials had been airing on the network and had demanded GB News remove them. The brands expressed concern that GB News would not be “inclusive” or fit their business missions, according to the Guardian.

Ikea appears to be taking the brunt of criticism from GB News amid the advertiser exodus, with commentator Piers Morgan calling the furniture company “pathetic, virtue-signaling twerps.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).