How Stop Funding Hate is ‘brandjamming’ the Christmas ad campaigns

In keeping with tradition, the release of the John Lewis Christmas ad earlier today has been greeted by a frenzy. With a new film released on Twitter, activism group Stop Funding Hate are hoping to ride the wave of interest to spread their message of peace.

Buster the boxer has bounced his way into the UK’s collective consciousness in John Lewis’ joyful Christmas spot, giving us that festive feeling. Stop Funding Hate, a collective that campaigns against “a culture of hate perpetuated by the media”, are hoping to catch this wave of excitement, and use it to spread a message of democracy and impartiality in the press.

It has released the above film to agitate against brands including John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and M&S, which place their advertising in publications on the group’s blacklist, including the Daily Mail, The Sun, and the Daily Express. These titles have been targeted by Stop Funding Hate for their representation of religious and ethnic minorities, and for the part the group believe they have played in the “upsurge of media hate speech that accompanied the referendum”.

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The film created by the group is pretty basic (and to be honest, a touch too long) but makes a point which will no doubt unsettle those brands featured: that the feel-good messages of togetherness and sharing in their Christmas ads are not reflected in the press where their ads often appear. The intention, of course, is to rally customers to advocate for change by the brands, and with the film receiving over 7,000 retweets since its appearance early today, its message is already spreading across Twitter.

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