“The far-right is being normalised by the media”Guardian columnist Owen Jones is urging advertisers to drop the Global radio station, LBC, after suggesting that the outlet is “normalising” the far-right. His campaign started after former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, who has his own daily show on the station, interviewed former Breitbart co-founder and Donald Trump advisor, Steve Bannon.
Taking to Twitter Jones wrote, “The threat of the far-right is growing. If fascists like Steve Bannon can be interviewed by his friend on national radio and call for right-wing uprisings and we do nothing – then calamity awaits”
“LBC are legitimising and making mainstream right-wing extremism and fascism, at a time when the far-right is on the march and poses a grave threat to this whole country.
“And major companies are absolutely directly complicit in it and they have to be held to account”.
Natwest, McDonald’s, British Gas et al
The left-wing writer reached out to a number of advertisers, including NatWest, McDonald’s, British Gas and TK Maxx who currently advertise on the station.
Jones, using Twitter, wrote,
“…do you want your brand to be associated with right wing extremism? Stop advertising on @Global Radio which gives Nigel Farage his own show”.
— Owen Jones? (@OwenJones84) July 24, 2018
Natwest, who is also a sponsor of the British LGBT Awards and Gay Star News‘s Digital Pride, said that it had no plans to change its advertising strategy.
In a statement, Natwest said, “We have no current plans to change our advertising strategy, but we will continue to take steps to ensure our advertising doesn’t appear alongside content which is obscene, illegal, or at odds with our values”.
Jones’ campaign was met with both praise and criticism with some following his example and writing to the advertisers in question asking them to stop sponsoring LBC‘s output. Some, however, criticised the writer for clamping down on free speech.
Last year Owen Jones fronted a boycott campaign to rid the station of one of its most controversial presenters, Katie Hopkins. Shortly after Hopkins and LBC came to an agreement for her to leave the station. Jones was given a guest presenting spot.
LBC is a national radio station which encourages listeners to call in and air their views. It has a broad panel of presenters from all sides of the political spectrum. Subjects regularly discussed on the station include, Brexit, Donald Trump as well as gender and identity politics.