Activist group Sleeping Giants targets Sky advertisers

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 25 July 2018
Outsiders with Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron has become the main target for Sleeping Giants Oz

Activist group Sleeping Giants has turned its focus from Breitbart to Sky's Outsiders show and is encouraging advertisers to pull spend from the program.

Sleeping Giants is an organisation dedicated to stopping racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and anti-Semitic news sites by stopping their ad dollars.

On ABC's Media Watch this week, host Paul Barry noted Sleeping Giants' early success in steering ad dollars away from Outsiders, with travel company Scenic Australia blacklisting the show.

He also highlighted the most recent program of Outsiders with Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron – where David Leyonhjelm had appeared – noting there were no ads at all, just free in-house promos for Foxtel and Sky. Earlier this month Greens party South Australia senator Sarah Hanson-Young revealed that she intended to pursue legal action following remarks made by Leyonhjelm.

The lack of ads saw host of The Bolt Report, Andrew Bolt, call out the advertising strike, labelling it a "vicious campaign" against Sky News.

But despite Bolt's seething counter-attack, Sleeping Giants is not backing down. In fact, it's upped the ante and is now calling for other advertisers, including Australia Post, Optus, Heinz, ANZ, Kia, Chemist Warehouse and more, to halt their advertising.

Sleeping Giants Oz is the Aussie spin off of a US campaign that works by using social media to pressure advertisers into withdrawing support for so-called hate speech. 

Against the ultra-right-wing site Breitbart in particular, the US Sleeping Giants group has achieved success resulting in nearly 4,000 companies adding the site to their programmatic advertising blacklists.

Earlier this year, AdNews reported Sleeping Giants was targeting Australian brands appearing on Breitbart, including Woolworths, Medibank, Bupa and more.

Watch the episode of Media Watch here.

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