Two months ago, in March, the Breitbart News website was flying high with 242 brands advertising on the site. In May, the number collapsed to just 26, according to a report Tuesday at Digiday.
A number of other conservative websites, including Townhall, The Blaze and National Review, also experienced declines. Many of the sites posted peak totals of unique visitors following the November election of Donald Trump.
At Breitbart, April registered 10.8 million unique visitors, down 13% compared to visitors in April 2016. In the past 12 months, Breitbart ranked 67th among news/information sites in April, down slightly from 62nd a year ago. In November Breitbart’s unique visitors totaled about 23,000.
Most remaining Breitbart advertisers, according to Digiday, are “targeted, conservative brands … including American Patriot Daily and Cosmohurtskids.com.” Breitbart also receives funding from billionaire hedge fund founder Robert Mercer who contributed some $22.5 million in disclosed donations to Republican candidates and to political action committees ahead of the 2016 elections.
Consumer boycotts in the form of web petitions from groups like SumOfUs, Care2, MoveOn.org, The Representation Project and UltraViolet have also had an impact on Breitbart’s advertising revenues. According to Digiday:
Sleeping Giants, a Twitter account started in November, has tracked the number of advertisers worldwide that have committed to stop advertising on Breitbart and its ilk. There were 2,200 on the list as of June 5, according to one of the account’s anonymous organizers. Ad tech companies including AppNexus and The Trade Desk have stopped sending ads to Breitbart.
A particular target of consumer petitions is Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), which continues to advertise on the site, as does Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL). Both use programmatic advertising placements. Digiday cites unidentified Sleeping Giants organizers:
It’s still a mess the way programmatic works. Despite what a lot of the programmatic companies say, [once-blacklisted ads] are still showing up later. For us, victory would look like programmatic companies like Google and Taboola and everyone else waking up to the fact that this hurts brands and placing more emphasis on corporate responsibility than profits.