Swedish cider maker Kopparberg has boycotted GB News, sparking a social media backlash from supporters of the anti-woke news network.
The drinks brand said it had "immediately suspended" advertising on the channel, claiming a previous advert was used without "knowledge or consent".
The move marks an early blow to the Right-leaning news channel, which attracted more than 250,000 viewers to its launch on Sunday despite enduring technical problems.
In a tweet, Kopparberg UK wrote:
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We want to make it clear to everyone that our ad ran on this channel without our knowledge or consent. Kopparberg is a drink for everyone and we have immediately suspended our ads from this channel pending further review of its content
— kopparberguk (@KopparbergUK) June 14, 2021
Advertising sales for GB News are handled by Sky Media, the pay-TV giant’s advertising arm that negotiates on behalf of its own channels as well as third-parties such as Channel 5, FOX and MTV.
The backlash draws the broadcaster into a battle with social media campaigners who have pressured advertisers to boycott national newspapers promoting divisive views.
Kopparberg’s decision prompted a backlash from supporters for GB News, some of whom vowed to stop buying the drinks company’s products in response to the boycott.
It is the latest hurdle to confront GB News, which was forced to send a letter of complaint to ministers and regulators over alleged efforts by the BBC to disrupt the station’s launch.
The broadcaster, chaired by Andrew Neil, has accused competitors of blocking its access to “pools” footage – video of public events produced by the country’s three main broadcasters.
GB News anchor Andrew Neil on air as technical glitches detracted from the broadcaster's debut
In a letter sent to the Competition and Markets Authority, Ofcom and the Culture Secretary, lawyers for GB News claimed that the move by the BBC and other major broadcasters could amount to “an abuse of their collective dominant position”.
GB News presenters include Mr Neil; former ITV newsreader Alastair Stewart; Simon McCoy, formerly of the BBC and Sky News; Colin Brazier of Sky News; and Alexandra Phillips, a former Brexit Party MEP. Other presenters will include Telegraph columnist Liam Halligan and Gloria de Piero, the former Labour MP.
The channel’s backers include US media group Discovery, Dubai investment firm Legatum and former hedge fund manager Sir Paul Marshall.
The channel is expected to bring in an opinion-driven agenda and has sparked comparison with Right-wing US channel Fox News over planned segments such as “woke watch”.
GB News declined to comment. Sky could not be reached for comment.