Breitbart sees number of adverts on site plummet almost 90% in three months

The conservative news website has been targeted by advertiser blacklists, campaigns to convince marketers to avoid them, and technology issues

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 07 June 2017 18:08 BST
Advertisers have been abandoning Breitbart in droves
Advertisers have been abandoning Breitbart in droves (AFP/Getty Images)

Conservative media outlet Breitbart News has seen interest from advertisers plummet just months after the company was said to be planning an international expansion in the wake of the surprising victory of Donald Trump last year.

Just 26 brands advertised with the company in May, a steep drop from the high of 242 they enjoyed in March, according to the advertising and website tracker MediaRadar. That decline follows a fierce blow back from anti-Trump campaigners who pushed marketers to stay away form the far-right outlet, advertiser blacklists, and traffic declines, according to DigiDay.

Breitbart is one of several conservative outlets that have seen declining advertising following the election of Mr Trump. Sites like Townhall, The Blaze, and National Review have also attracted fewer brands, but Breitbart appears to have seen the largest decline.

As for readership, Breitbart has registered a declining audience, which is similar to a trend among many news sites as Mr Trump has settled into office. Breitbart traffic dropped 13 percent compared to a year ago, with 10.8 million unique readers in April, according to comScore. The company dropped to 67th among news and information sites in April from 62nd a year earlier.

The declining advertiser interest comes after high profile scandals in the company. Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulous, an energetic alt-right personality who was known for his advocacy of controversial ideas, became perhaps the highest profile of those cases when he resigned in February after making questionable statements about paedophilia. Mr Yiannopoulous later expressed regret for his statements that were interpreted as advocating paedophilia, but maintained that he had not intended that as his message.

More recently, Breitbart writer Katie McHugh was forced out of the company after she tweeted that Britain wouldn't have suffered from the devastating attacks in Manchester and London in the past few weeks if they simply kept Muslims out of the country.

Other challenges face the company, which may be somewhat resistant to ad declines because it is backed by a billionaire hedge fund tycoon and Trump supporter Robert Mercer. Among those challenges are crackdowns by YouTube and Facebook on fake news and “unsafe content,” which has led brands to implement stricter safety guidelines that excludes Breitbart.

Attempts to reach Breitbart News for comment were not immediately returned.

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