Lego has announced it will no longer do business with British tabloid newspaper, The Daily Mail.

It was a response to a public campaign, called #StopFundingHate, which directly targeted advertisers in several major UK newspapers, urging them not to support publications that promoted “demonisation and division” during the Brexit debate.

Sarah, James and Nic take a look at what this sort of campaign means for brands and the media.


Here are some key take-outs:

  • Brands need to uphold the values they claim they represent. Brands that don’t are susceptible to this kind of campaign.
  • What was the honest reason behind Lego’s decision? Perhaps they wanted to walk away from their advertising arrangements with the newspaper anyway? Perhaps they had no more promotions planned.

“This has been hijacked. This is the power of social media. We’ve built up a furore around it and we’ve placed Lego on this enormous pedestal of ‘true value’ — what a fighter for the Stop Hate campaign — when the campaign had actually come to a close.” — Nic


  • The winner may well be The Daily Mail, because they’re getting publicity out of this. It might actually win them more readers.
  • The way the media behaves has changed. Media organisations are now partisan. The question for Lego is why it ever wanted to do a promotion with a media organisation with values that are so out of line with the values it claims to represent?

“Obviously Lego had identified that the readers of the Daily Mail were a good market for them, that there were some synergies there, and they probably didn’t take it to the next step and ask themselves ‘do we agree with the editorial?’ It was only when they got called out that they decided to address that. It’s up to individual companies to decide how much criticism they’re willing to take from their audience.” — Sarah


  • Social media is a powerful tool — it empowers the public and consumer. A campaign like this can snowball quickly. It is likely Lego just got caught out.
  • Brands can actually benefit from making decisions that respond to campaigns like these, if it’s done correctly. But how you respond is a business decision and simply caving in to pressure may not be the best course of action.


Here are the links you might need


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at whether the desire to “go viral” is killing trust.


And here’s a discussion about “newsjacking” and the virtues of controversy.


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