LEGO has dismantled its relationship with The Daily Mail, the first major victory for the Stop Funding Hate campaign.
The Daily Mail has been under scrutiny for publishing articles that some view as fear-mongering and homophobic, which falls square in the line of fire for Stop Funding Hate's mission. Founded in August, Stop Funding Hate is British-based initiative aimed at severing advertising ties between major companies and media publications that, in the organization’s estimation, are perpetuating a "culture of hate, demonisation and division that is poisoning our political discourse." Stop Funding Hate has been putting pressures on the likes of British Airways, Marks & Spencer, Barclays, and Gillette, but LEGO is the first big company to heed the call of not just the campaign but concerned consumers as well.
Earlier this month, a Facebook post from Londoner Bob Jones went viral. In the post, Jones details his concerns over the connection with a brand that, in his opinion,"[…]has always been an inclusive product. Breaking barriers between gender, building children's imagination and confidence to do their own thing" with The Daily Mail, that creates "Headlines that do nothing but create distrust of foreigners, blame immigrants for everything."
LEGO announced its decision to pull a scheduled promotional campaign of free giveaways with The Daily Mail over the weekend:
"We spend a lot of time listening to what children have to say. And when parents and grandparents take the time to let us know how they feel, we always listen just as carefully. We are both humbled and honoured to see how much consumers all over the world express their care for our company and our brand. And we will continuously do our very best to live up to the trust and faith that people all around the world show us every day. The agreement with The Daily Mail has finished and we have no plans to run any promotional activity with the newspaper in the foreseeable future."
It’s an impressive victory given the fact that the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. With a major company like LEGO siding with Stop Funding Hate, it may be only a matter of time for a domino effect to hit The Daily Mail and other publications where it really, really hurts.