Cereal giant Kellogg’s has announced that it is yanking all advertising from the politically conservative website Breitbart.com, citing a difference of values. The news site has been frequently criticized for its anti-Semitic, misogynistic and racist undertones. Until recently, Breitbart was run by Steve Bannon, who is now a close adviser to President-elect Donald Trump and is widely viewed as sympathetic to white supremacist movements.
In an official statement, Kellogg’s spokesperson Kris Charles said “We regularly work with our media-buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as a company.” Charles continued, “We recently reviewed the list of sites where our ads can be placed and decided to discontinue advertising on Breitbart.com. We are working to remove our ads from that site.”
The breakfast food company, which manufactures such food brands as Frosted Mini-Wheats, Special K, Pop-Tarts, and Eggo, is just the latest corporation to distance itself from Breitbart. The ever-growing list also includes the San Diego Zoo, Allstate, Nest, Warby Parker, SoFi, Modcloth, and Earthlink.
Kellogg’s corporate values have a long and unusual history.In fact, its staple breakfast cereal brand, Corn Flakes, was invented by a doctor named John Kellogg, who owned a sanitarium along with his brother. John Kellogg valued “purity” at all costs, discouraged masturbation, and even refrained from indulging in carnal activities with his spouse. Ever… their marriage was never consummated and their three children were all adopted.
Corn Flakes were intended to quash impure thoughts with their bland flavor and texture, and were even said to cure people of the sin of “self love.” Kellogg’s brother Will disagreed, and thought sugar would be a beneficial addition to the tasteless flakes. The brothers fought over the issue for years. Eventually Will started his own company, which became Kellogg’s. Fast-forward to 2016 and Kellogg’s is still embroiled in a bitter disagreement, this time over advertising on an alt-right website.
In response to the Kellogg’s company’s recent announcement, Breitbart urged its readers to #DumpKelloggs in a boycott and social media petition. A defensive post on the Breitbart website reads: “The decision by Kellogg’s, which makes Pringles, Eggo waffles, as well as Special K and Frosted Flakes cereals, among others, will make virtually no revenue impact on Breitbart.com. It does, however, represent an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House.” The essay went on to label Kellogg’s discriminatory, contemptuous, and un-American for its decision, and listed the company’s full line of products… presumably to make them easier to boycott.
The internet immediately exploded into a cloud of #DumpKelloggs rants from people claiming they never liked the company’s products anyway to accusing its cereals of single-handedly causing America’s obesity epidemic. Raheem Kassam, Breitbart London’s Editor in Chief, tweeted “#DumpKelloggs and do what I do instead. Eat steak and drink leftie tears for breakfast,” along with seven additional messages directed at the manufacturing giant within one hour on Wednesday afternoon.