Earlier this week Lego announced that they were going to withdraw their advertisement from The Daily Mail, after influence from the ‘Stop Funding Hate’ campaign group.
Lego is a name that when said, probably takes many people back to their childhood. Spending hours slotting small blocks together, attempting to make something like a moving car or skyscraper, and then accidentally crushing or stepping on it halfway through and frustrated, starting all over again.
But pushing aside the reminiscent childhood memories, have you ever thought about the knock-on effect of how and where this company advertises their products?
Earlier this week, the Danish brand Lego revealed through Twitter that they were withdrawing their free giveaways from The Daily Mail, claiming they are ‘not planning any future promotional activity with the newspaper’.
This decision has come to play after the campaign group “Stop Funding Hate” called out to big brands, such as Lego, to stop advertising their products in newspapers that drive and promote hate crime.
The campaigns end goal is for many large brands to cease using advertising within newspapers with political agenda in hope that it will end the hateful headlines and articles slandering different nationalities and cultures.
Lego is one of the first big name brands to comply to the campaigner’s wants and completely pull their brand from a large, well known newspaper.
Now the campaign is urging other big brands such as Waitrose, Marks & Spencers and Co-op to following in Lego’s footsteps and boycott any partnerships with newspapers that publicize divisive hate campaigns.
This announcement from Lego comes after The Daily Mail posted a controversial headline earlier this month, branding three high court judges as ‘enemies of the people’ and highlighting how one judge was openly gay on their online site, after they declared that parliament must have a say in the Brexit final decision.
In the newspaper The Observer, Lego confirms how their decision to withdraw the company’s giveaways was influenced not only by the Stop Funding Hate campaign, but also by British parent Bob Jones.
Jones expressed his feelings via a heartfelt Facebook post directed at the company regarding how Lego’s association with the newspaper made him feel uncomfortable buying their products for his 6-year-old son. He went onto to say how The Daily Mail “blame immigrants for everything” and “cause distrust for foreigners.”
Even though Jones took an unbiased approach, explaining how “while I disagree with their political stand, I can accept their right to have it”, he says how he believed the papers have now gone too far and “beyond offering a right-wing opinion.” Jones then ended his message with the hashtag #StopFundingHate.
There are some big names also backing the campaign, one of these being Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker. Earlier in the year the ex-footballer called out The Daily Mail after they published headlines that tarnished young refugees coming into the country, accusing them of lying about their age.
Lineker responded through twitter, “The treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What’s happening to our country?”
After the Lego’s announcement, Lineker tweeted ‘Brick by Brick’ with a link to the campaign. There are now rumours that the star is ‘having talks’ with the crisp company Walkers about withdrawing advertising from big name newspaper ‘The Sun’.
It seems campaigners of Stop Funding Hate may still have a long way to go, but Lego could just be the tipping point of a potential new, hate free media movement.