Lego cuts ties with Daily Mail to #StopFundingHate
Tuesday 15th November 2016 | Phil Tang
Lego, widely regarded as Denmark's most famous brand and one of its biggest exports, has ended its relationship with The Daily Mail as a direct result of campaigning by @StopFundingHate following a public Facebook post sent to Lego by British parent Bob Jones, who had grown increasingly concerned with the tabloid’s incessant headlines and articles which he felt “Create distrust of foreigners” and “Blamed immigrants for everything”.
Mr. Jones’ post quickly went viral and was subsequently shared by @StopFundingHate along with several hundred other facebook users.
@StopFundingHate is a UK pressure group that aims to persuade brands to stop advertising and working with publications often regarded as hate inciting and gossip mongering ones such as The Daily Mail.
Created in response to the surge in xenophobic attitudes and the increase in prejudicial headlines that are being published by right-wing tabloid newspapers such as The Daily Mail and The Sun in the wake of the EU Referendum result and the Calais migrant crisis, @StopFundingHate has seen a vast increase in publicity of late.
Internationally known for its multi-coloured plastic building bricks that have been a favourite of children across the globe for over half a century, Lego had for the last three years been running a promotion giving away free toys with The Daily Mail which, along with The Sun and The Daily Express, are all largely considered to be the UK tabloid newspapers most far right wing in terms of political stance.
The Daily Mail, which in the 1930s was sympathetic to German & Italian fascism, has of late seemingly pursued an increasingly prejudicial stance towards foreigners and immigrants, with one of their recent headlines targeting the High Court judges who resided over the Article 50 decisions being subject to over 1,000 public complaints.
Mr Jones stated in the Facebook post to Lego, “While I disagree with their (The Daily Mail) political stand, I can accept their right to have it”, going on to implore the progressive Danish toy company to end its current association with the tabloid newspaper.
Following the message to them from Mr. Jones and the ongoing campaign from @StopFundingHate, Lego terminated its agreement with The Daily Mail and issued a direct response to the pressure group via Twitter.
@StopFundingHate We have finished the agreement with The Daily Mail and are not planning any future promotional activity with the newspaper
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) November 12, 2016
Lego are the first major brand to pull their financial support from a tabloid newspaper as a result of a @StopFundingHate campaign, with celebrities such as Lily Allen and Gary Lineker publicly voicing their support for the pressure group which now seeks to use its newfound fame to persuade other big money brands such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencers to end their financial support of The Daily Mail, aswell as campaigning for the The Co-Op to stop advertising in The Daily Express.
In a public statement @StopFundingHate said "People are becoming more aware that the money they spend could end up supporting publications whose stories, language or portrayal of certain people, fuels division. This urgently needs to addressed. These headlines harm people."
This campaign is a leading example of the sort of people power in action that could potentially lead to a new wave of inexpensive and effective social media powered activism.
It is only when consumers voice their anger at brands which support publications who encourage divisive, prejudicial opinions, or corporations who continue unethical practices which damage the environment and negatively affect society, that these sorts of companies will begin to become more socially and environmentally responsible.
So put your money where your mouth is and #StopFundingHate.