Alumni based email campaign convinces UMN to redirect sports advertising.
Minneapolis, MN- The University of Minnesota is canceling all advertising that appears on Breitbart.com in response to a “small number of emails” from alumni.
City Pages reports that the university’s ad buys are contracted out of house. Most of these ads were placed to try and sell tickets to the University’s sporting events.
“Neither the University nor Gopher athletics made a proactive decision to advertise,” UMN spokesman Chuck Tombarge told City Pages, “When groups buy digital ads, it’s generally part of a large and diverse ad buy. Through the Google Display Network — I’m told by our marketing department and Gopher athletics — that network reaches 90 percent of users across more than 2 million different websites.”
The email campaign was directed at University President Eric Kaler. It was small, but effective, taking place over the first week of December. At least one email complaining about the UMN supposedly subsidizing the “alt-right” got a reply of “I completely agree” from someone within Kaler’s office.
The university has now specifically directed its ad buyers to avoid placing any ads on Breitbart.
Earlier this year Students for a Conservative Voice, a student group at UMN, hosted Breitbart Tech Editor Milo Yiannopoulos. He and academic Christina Hoff Sommers spoke about third wave feminism, free speech and political correctness.
The event filled the 250 capacity Cowles’ Auditorium in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Some students tried to get the event shut down the event shut down, but the university refused to comply due to a respect for the First Amendment. A handful of protesters then interrupted the event, some of whom were convinced Yiannopoulos and those attending the event should kill themselves.
Tombarge told City Pages that the university is still open to the possibility of advertising with Breitbart again in the future.
“We’re still having discussions about it,” he says. “We’re taking a broader look at media advertising overall. It’s probably too early to speculate about what we will and won’t do.”
The University of Minnesota joins Kellogg’s cereals, the San Diego Zoo, designer eyeglass maker Warby Parker, and medical device manufacturer Novo Nordisk in pulling all of their advertisements from Breitbart.