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BuzzFeed Refuses To Run Trump Ads, Backs Out Of Agreement With RNC

"We don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason."

BuzzFeed will not be running any ads from the Republican National Committee this fall, according to CEO Jonah Peretti. He announced Monday that the media company has terminated a previously agreed-upon advertising deal with the RNC.

Peretti specifically cited presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's rhetoric in an email to staff explaining the decision, saying Trump's campaign policies are “directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world.”

Peretti acknowledged BuzzFeed's termination of the deal means it's walking away from a "significant amount" of money.

Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced Monday that the company has backed out of a deal to run RNC advertisements.
Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced Monday that the company has backed out of a deal to run RNC advertisements.

"We don’t need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers," Peretti wrote in the email. "And as you know, there is a wall between our business and editorial operations. This decision to cancel this ad buy will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign."

"We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason."

Here's the entire text of Peretti's email to staffers:

Hello BuzzFeeders,

I wanted to share with you a business decision we have made regarding the Trump for President campaign and why we made it.

In April, the Republican National Committee signed an agreement with BuzzFeed to spend a significant amount on political advertisements slated to run during the Fall election cycle. As you know, we accept advertisements from both republican and democratic candidates and we were pleased to accept this advertising order from the RNC.

Since signing this advertising deal, Donald Trump, as you know, has become the presumptive nominee of his party. The tone and substance of his campaign are unique in the history of modern US politics. Trump advocates banning Muslims from traveling to the United States, he’s threatened to limit the free press, and made offensive statements toward women, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and foreign nationals.

Earlier today Buzzfeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them. The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.

We don’t need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers. And as you know, there is a wall between our business and editorial operations. This decision to cancel this ad buy will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign.

We certainly don’t like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don’t run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won’t accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.

Thanks,

Jonah

In December, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith informed reporters that referring to Trump as a "liar" and a "mendacious racist" was fair game because the terms are accurate reflections of his campaign.

"BuzzFeed News’s reporting is rooted in facts, not opinion; these are facts," Smith explained at the time. "There’s nothing partisan about accurately describing Donald Trump."

Neither BuzzFeed nor the RNC responded to a request for comment from The Huffington Post. On Tuesday, however, RNC communications director Sean Spicer accused the website of being "in the tank" for Democrats and Hillary Clinton, after BuzzFeed published a story on two Hispanic operatives who declined roles with the Republican party over disagreements with Trump:

Update: This story has been updated with Sean Spicer's Twitter commentary.

Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

HuffPost

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