Lego removes advertising from The Daily Mail
THE Danish toy company Lego has stopped advertising in the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, after a public campaign calling on big companies to drop adverts from newspapers accused of promoting "hatred, discrimination and demonisation".
Lego, which had run free giveaways in the newspaper, responded to social media campaigners Stop Funding Hate.
The campaigners urge advertisers to rethink their "support" for right-wing newspapers over what they see as misleading headlines about child refugees and Brexit.
Lego is the first big company to agree to the campaigners' demands. The Co-Op Group has said it is 'reviewing' its advertising but other companies have, until now, refused to withdraw their adverts.
John Lewis, another key target of the campaign said: "We fully appreciate the strength of feeling on this issue but we never make an editorial judgement on a particular newspaper."
Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are also being urged to drop their Christmas advertising in certain tabloids.
The Lego announcement was welcomed by BBC presenter Gary Lineker, who has backed the Stop the Hate campaign and today announced he had spoken to Walkers, whose crisps he promotes, about withdrawing their adverts from The Sun. It comes a week after a British father's letter to Lego regarding their links with the Daily Mail went viral.
Bob Jones, who said his six-year-old son 'loves' Lego, wrote an open letter to the company after the Daily Mail ran a controversial front page calling the High Court judges who ruled Parliament must be given a say on Brexit "enemies of the country".
He wrote: "I love Lego. My 6 year old son loves Lego. He inherited all of mine three years ago and his collection has multiplied many times since...It seems you can do no wrong."
"But I'm concerned. For a few years now you have done free giveaways in the Daily Mail newspaper... But I'm afraid to say I can no longer do it."
Mr Jones said the paper's recent headlines had gone too far and did "nothing but create distrust of foreigners, blame immigrants for everything, and as of yesterday are now having a go at top judges in the UK for being gay while making a legal judgment."
He added: "Lego, to me has always been an inclusive product. Breaking barriers between gender, building children's imagination and confidence to do their own thing. Something adults and children can and do, bond over."
"Your links to the Daily Mail are wrong. And a company like yours shouldn't be supporting them. And as crap as I feel telling my son he can't have the free Lego kit that he sees on the front of the paper in the store, I have explained to him that the paper it is attached to is the sort of paper that tells lies about people, like some of his friends from school. Even my six-year-old understands that what they print is wrong."
The Stop Funding Hate campaign was founded in August following what it said was "hatred, discrimination and demonisation" being promoted by some newspapers.
The Independent has contacted Lego and the Daily Mail for comment.