Retargeted Advertising on Breitbart Poses a Problem for Fashion Brands

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After the former executive chair of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, was appointed Donald Trump’s chief strategist, many brands who advertise on the far-right site have been urged to pull their ads.

Per an article in Glossy, the fashion and beauty brands that appear on there — which have included Madewell, Tarte, and Net-a-Porter — may not even know that they’re advertising on Breitbart at all. There are a few ways this can happen: For starters, Google will serve up ads according to consumer interests that will follow you from site to site. Brands will also just buy “audiences,” so retargeted ads based on a consumer’s browser history show up on Breitbart when they pull up the page.

Some brands may not care, with digital-media ad-buying agencies realizing that “margins are so low in retail that the brands essentially take what they can get.”

That said, these brands can certainly blacklist Breitbart if they choose to. A new Twitter account, Sleeping Giants, exists to make brands aware of when they show up on Breitbart and urges them to pull their ads. Several brands have already done so, with Kellogg’s being the most notable example so far. A Modcloth rep told Glossy, “Like so many other brands, we were not aware of the placement. Once we were made aware is when we made the decision.”

It’s possible that we’ll see more fashion and beauty brands pull their advertising off Breitbart in the weeks to come. After all, the Breitbart audience is probably not their targeted demographic and pulling ads may ensure they retain their regular consumers, rather than lose them to a potential boycott.

Fashion Brands May Have No Idea They Have Ads on Breitbart