U.S. News


Breitbart Struggles Amid Advertiser Exodus

The conservative site has seen a significant decline in advertising and readership — advertiser boycotts and hate speech policies could be to blame.
Posted at 9:08 PM, Jun 07, 2017

The postelection era hasn't been kind to Breitbart. The conservative news outlet has recently been struggling with advertising and readership woes.

Marketing news site Digiday notes Breitbart lost 90 percent of its advertisers in about three months. Digiday discovered that drop using ad tracker MediaRadar, which recorded 242 brands advertising on Breitbart in March, but only 26 brands in May.

The Washington Post says Breitbart's visitor traffic has dived 53 percent since November — twice the rate of mainstream outlets.

That's likely thanks in part to a campaign urging companies to ban their ads from the site. The activist group Sleeping Giants has recorded about 2,200 groups that won't advertise on Breitbart, including companies like Allstate, Warby Parker, EarthLink and SoFi.

And back in late November, digital advertising network AppNexus blacklisted Breitbart for violating its hate speech rules with "coded or overt language." 

AppNexus was the second-most profitable ad network in 2014; Breitbart didn't directly buy ads from it but likely ended up purchasing its ads through an exchange. Google, the most profitable ad network, is still serving ads on Breitbart.

An organizer behind the Sleeping Giants says the organization wants to push automatic ad distributors, like Google, to change the way their systems work and place "more emphasis on corporate responsibility than profits."

Beyond the loss of advertisers, Breitbart is having some other issues with its site. The website's application for congressional press credentials has been repeatedly rejected, two controversial writers have left and the publication delayed its planned expansion to France and Germany.