Calling Trump a 'Health Hazard,' BuzzFeed Kills $1.3M Ad Deal

CEO: 'Trump campaign is directly opposed to freedoms of our employees'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2016 11:30 AM CDT
Calling Trump a 'Health Hazard,' BuzzFeed Kills $1.3M Ad Deal
In this May 26, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Billings, Mont.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

There've been no shortage of complaints about how the media is handling the candidacy of Donald Trump—but now one media outlet is putting its advertising revenue where its mouth is and axing a deal to run ads this fall from the Republican National Committee. That outlet is BuzzFeed, and in an email to employees Monday morning, company CEO Jonah Peretti outlined the reasons it has nixed what a source tells Politico was a $1.3 million ad buy promoting Trump. "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," Peretti writes, explaining the deal was originally signed in April, before Trump became the presumptive nominee.

Although Peretti notes that BuzzFeed staff "certainly don't like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company," he adds that "the tone and substance of his campaign are unique in the history of modern US politics" and that an exception must be made. "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," he writes. Ben Smith, BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief, says that editorial coverage of Trump will continue as usual, noting in his own email: "This was Jonah's call, and the prerogative of a publisher." (Read the full email at BuzzFeed.)

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