MTV and Target Block Ads from Black Lives Matter Content

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While many US corporations have voiced support for Black Lives Matter and made donations to Social Justice organizations, some of these corporations are refusing to advertise products next to Black Lives Matter-related and protest content.

MTV (owned by NASDAQ: VIAC)-owned and Target (NYSE: TGT)  both reportedly have chosen to exclude their ads from news reports covering the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd’s murder, and other controversial topics.

According to the Wall Street Journal, both organizations have “blocklists” that include terms and phrases not to be released with banner advertisements.

MTV “blocklist” asked a publisher to avoid placing ads in stories mentioning  topics such as “Black Lives Matter,” “George Floyd,” “Breonna Taylor,”  and “protests.”

Similarly Targets, blocklist included names such as “Breonna Taylor”, “George Floyd” and stories about protests against police violence.

News publishers argue these racial justice “block lists” punish media companies for covering topics that earn less money.

” It’s defunding our journalism at a time when it’s imperative for us to be the front lines doing this sort of work,”

WSJ, Paul Wallace, Vice Media’s vice president for global earnings services and products.

With the increase in TV and media news content around inequality and anti-racism protests, Vice Media Group says there is a lower “monetization” of some news stories as it relates to video advertisers’ brand safety issues.

“We found that content that was related to George Floyd and the protests monetized at a rate 57% lower than other news content. And that’s because brands and agencies specifically blocked their ads from being next to content around racial unrest. Words relating to the murder of George Floyd and the protests happening across the country were popping up on these lists that are called within the industry blocklists. These words were George Floyd, Minneapolis, Black Lives Matter, Black people. What we realized is that brands or advertisers would not want their product to be aligned or placed next to the content that is important for the American audience to know about.”

Vice’s SVP of content strategy and community, Marsha Cooke, told NPR,

A Target spokesman mentions the merchant’s ad-blocking “does not discount the value of reporting on topics like Black Lives Matter or the murder of George Floyd.”

“It’s intended to acknowledge that the person consuming that material may not be receptive to a marketing message from a mass seller like Target at that time.”

According to the Journal