Lego has said it will no longer carry out promotional activity with the Daily Mail, apparently as a result of a social media campaign called “Stop Funding Hate”.
The campaign is targeting the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun in response to the papers’ editorial coverage of immigration.
Lego said in a Twitter message: “@StopFundingHate We have finished the agreement with The Daily Mail and are not planning any future promotional activity with the newspaper.”
A spokesperson for the campaign said: “Stop Funding Hate welcomes the decision from Lego. We are asking brands to listen to their customers when they tell them they want to stop funding hate, and that is what they’ve done.
“People are becoming more aware that the money they spend could end up supporting publications whose stories, language or portrayal of certain people, fuels division. This urgently needs to addressed. These headlines harm people.”
Lego has previously run toy give-aways with the Daily Mail.
A spokesperson said: “The main purpose for us as a company is to develop amazing, creative Lego play experiences to children all over the world.
“In order to do that successfully, we spend a lot of time listening to what children have to say. And when parents and grandparents take the time to let us know how they feel, we always listen just as carefully.”
The Stop Funding Hate Facebook page as 176,000 likes and it has a further 58,000 followers on Twitter.
It launched in August and carries a montage of Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sun front pages at the top of its site – all of which portray asylum seekers in a negative light.
It has published a video pastiche of major supermarket Christmas advertising videos which urges the brands not to advertise with the Mail, Sun or Express.
It ends with the words: “What if goodwill to all wasn’t only mean for Christmas”. The video has been viewed 6m times.
Co-op has said: “We are looking at whether we can align more closely with our natural sources of support rather than more generic media. As yet, no conclusions have been reached.”
Asked which supermarket brands it would recommend, Stop Funding Hate said in a Facebook post: “We haven’t found a large brand that doesn’t advertise in these papers, unfortunately. It might be best to shop local.”
John Lewis appears to be a particular target of the group. It said in a Twitter message: “We fully appreciate the strength of feeling on this issue but we never make an editorial judgement on a particular newspaper.”
Former footballer Gary Lineker, who advertisers crisps for Walkers, has urged the company to stop advertising with The Sun. Walkers said: “Our advertising approach is not determined by the editorial stances of individual newspapers.”
Stop Funding Hate describes itself on Twitter as follows: “Don’t hate the media – change the media. Help us take on the divisive hate campaigns of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express.