Kellogg’s Accused of Being Anti-Family

Yesterday, Tony the Tiger may not have been feeling so G-R-R-reat! The spokesbeast for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes may have been the most public face of the brand — until Breitbart.com started up the “#DumpKelloggs” campaign. As of presstime, the news site claimed more than 150,172 consumers had signed a pledge to boycott Kellogg’s products.

While Breitbart.com says the boycott is about Kellogg’s turning away from traditional family values by pulling its advertising dollars from the site, some believe the boycott is just retaliation about the loss of ad money. On Kellogg’s end, the CPG company appears to be trying to save its brand reputation by pulling away from the site.

Calling itself the No. 1 site for “pro-family content,” the paragraph above the petition said any readers who continued “serving up bigotry at your breakfast table” were with the brand that was against traditional American values.

Also on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Breitbart News Network is simply reacting to watching its advertisers file out the door. The marketers believe the site caters to the “alt-right,” which the paper characterizes as being associated with white nationalism.

“Breitbart took a pro-Trump stance during the campaign, supporting the Republican candidate’s views on immigration and national security,” writes David Ng for the Times, mentioning President-elect Donald Trump. “The company’s executive chairman, Steve Bannon, who is on a leave of absence, was Trump’s campaign manager and has been named chief White House strategist. Although Bannon was quoted in Mother Jones as saying Breitbart is a platform for the alt-right — the ultraconservative movement associated with white nationalism — the news site has denied accusations that it engages in racist rhetoric. The company has stated that it isn’t affiliated with the alt-right and that the brand of nationalism it espouses is political, not racial.”

Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg Company didn’t immediately return Target Marketing’s request for comment about the following questions:

  • How is #DumpKelloggs affecting your brand? Your marketing efforts? How are you responding to individuals, if you are? [Author’s note: @KelloggsUS wasn’t responding to tweets yesterday and hadn’t responded to the hashtag at all.]

  • What’s your thought on your brand being “dragged into” politics?

Contributing to the Facebook trending topic, The Epoch Times wrote on Wednesday that consumers “are tossing Kellogg’s cereal boxes in the trash.”

Here’s what Breitbart.com had to say in the post announcing the petition:

“Kellogg Co. announced on Tuesday its decision to pull ads from conservative media giant Breitbart.com because its 45,000,000 monthly conservative readers are not ‘aligned with our values as a company.’ In response, Breitbart News, one of the world’s top news publishers, has launched a #DumpKelloggs petition and called for a boycott of the ubiquitous food manufacturer.”

At the bottom of the post is a hyperlink about how to advertise on the site.

Kellogg’s is far from the first company to feel Trump supporters’ ire. Companies that have felt the need to respond to the political fray include Skittles, Tic Tac and Starbucks.

Kellogg told Ng “it regularly works with media buying partners to ‘ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as set forth in our advertising guidelines.’ ”

Meanwhile, supporters of defeated presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are also calling for brand boycotts — and now there’s even an app for that.

What do you think, marketers? What else can or should brands do?

Please respond in the comments section below.


Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.
Publish date: December 2, 2016 https://dev.adweek.com/performance-marketing/kelloggs-feels-trump-supporters-anger/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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