Due to the uproar over President-elect Donald Trump's decision to appoint former Brietbart chairman Steve Bannon to his administration, a growing number of ad-tech companies are pulling the plug on the site's access to advertising dollars via their systems.
A spokesman for programmatic video company TubeMogul said today that the company has removed the alt-right website from a list of default websites for ad buys because of concerns over offensive language and hate speech. Ads that run on the programmatic exchange are typically served across hundreds of publishers' sites automatically, but to purchase inventory on Breitbart through TubeMogul, advertisers now have to manually type the website into the site-selector section of the company's ad-buying software.
A slew of brands—including Kellogg's, Allstate and Warby Parker—have pulled their Brietbart ad buys because of hate speech concerns in the past week. Last week, ad-tech company AppNexus also shut down Breitbart's access to its advertising marketplace after an audit revealed that "there were enough articles and headlines that cross the line, either coded or overt language."
The TubeMogul rep added that its quality-assurance team has been instructed to monitor Breitbart for other brand-safety categories in addition to hate speech and offensive language that advertisers may be concerned with. The company's software also includes brand safety filters that automatically prevent ads running on other websites with similar offensive content.
According to Ghostery's Trackermap software—which tracks the digital advertising companies that publishers work with—dozens of ad-tech firms are plugged into Breitbart.
"There are dozens of companies that have access to Breitbart inventory—sometimes they know it's Breitbart and sometimes they just know that it's a particular cookie profile of a user who has the behaviors that they're looking for," said Scott Meyer, CEO of Ghostery. "The challenge and the requirement for big brands is to ensure that the level of visibility is there as they buy."
Additionally, Adweek has learned that ad-tech player Rocket Fuel stopped serving ads to the site in mid-November, but Breitbart may still be loading its tracking pixels that collect data to serve ads. "This may be done by publishers to make their web page more attractive to companies that operate in the programmatic space. Rocket Fuel does not have any control to deploy a pixel on a publisher website we don't control, including Breitbart," the company explained in a statement.
Meanwhile, Breitbart today started a petition dubbed #DumpKelloggs, encouraging its readers to boycott the packaged-goods company's products because of its decision to remove ad campaigns from the site.
"Kellogg's has shown its contempt for Breitbart's 45 million readers and for the main street American values that they hold dear," said Breitbart president and CEO Larry Solov in a post. "Pulling its advertising from Breitbart News is a decidedly cynical and un-American act. The only sensible response is to join together and boycott Kellogg's products in protest."