Sleeping Giants, the anonymous group dedicated to getting corporations to pull advertising from right-wing news websites such as Breitbart, is taking its fight to the streets — specifically around Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.
The group, which says it has been unable to get Amazon to respond to requests to not advertise on the site, has deployed a mobile billboard with the message “Amazon, stop funding bigotry. Please pull your ads from Breitbart.”
A tweet showed the ad on the back of a truck and said, “Look out Seattle. Here we come.”
Well, if you can't get a response from a company online or on the phone, you can always try in-person. ?
Look out, Seattle. Here we come. pic.twitter.com/pqRzmJ0mIw
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) June 19, 2017
Sleeping Giants was founded after the 2016 presidential election and its description on Facebook says it is “dedicated to stopping racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic news sites by stopping their ad dollars.” The group targets “programmatic” ad buying, in which companies rely on technology, rather than humans, to purchase and place ads.
A news release in May said that Sleeping Giants had successfully convinced more than 2,000 companies to drop their ads from Breitbart, but that Amazon.com has yet to comment on its relationship with with the alt-right site.
BuzzFeed reported on the billboard effort Monday and said that despite Sleeping Giants’ ongoing pressure on Amazon, the group has not heard from anyone in eight months of calls and emails to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant.
“We’ve even spoken to people who have shows on Amazon’s streaming service and they’ve approached people at the Amazon about the Breitbart situation and still we’ve heard nothing,” an anonymous Sleeping Giants founder told BuzzFeed.”
A quick check of the Breitbart site on Monday revealed an ad for Amazon Channels and its airing of the HBO series “Westworld.”
Buzzfeed also previously reported that Amazon was being pressured by employees as well, as a petition within the company had amassed hundreds of signatures.
And during its annual shareholders meeting on May 22, protesters for a number of groups showed up to attempt to have their voices heard by Amazon. MoveOn.org delivered a petition signed by 1.2 million people urging Amazon to block its ads from appearing on Breitbart and it flew a plane over the meeting carrying a banner that read, “Amazon stop funding hate. Drop Breitbart.”
Sleeping Giants told BuzzFeed that Amazon’s silence is the reason for bringing out the billboard truck, saying that it’s the company’s choice to advertise wherever it wants, but at least defend it to consumers. The group also said it was important to get active beyond just social media.
“It’s one thing to hammer away at things on Twitter and Facebook but it’s another to get it out into the real world and let them know the problem we have,” a Sleeping Giants member told BuzzFeed.