This could be a smackdown that really hits the Daily Mail where it hurts - their bank balance.

Conservative councillor Nigel Fletcher received an email asking if he wanted to promote his political research group 'Opposition Studies' on the Daily Mail website for £475.

Fletcher, who said he was appalled by the article written this week by the Mail's Geoffrey Levy calling Labour leader Ed Miliband's father Ralph 'The Man Who Hate Britain', felt he had to take a stand:

Fletcher, who is in the Greenwich Council Shadow Cabinet, responsible for culture, said: "As a gay businessman who works with and values immigrants and ethnic minorities, and believes in grown-up political debate that rejects personal attacks of the gutter, I think I will decline the offer."

He told HuffPost UK: "I am frankly stunned by how much attention this has received. It was only intended as a riposte I thought my Twitter followers might find amusing.

"I was appalled by the tasteless slur on Ed Miliband's father, but it is only the latest in a long line of offensive articles the Mail has published.

"Even setting aside my own views, we are a cross-party think-tank, and advertising with a paper that has upset so many people across the political spectrum would not make sound business sense.

"They are free to publish what they want, but as a Tory believer in the free market I also have the freedom to take my business elsewhere."

Fletcher's email has had more than 4,600 retweets, including from the likes of Stephen Fry and columnist Owen Jones, who has started a campaign to get advertisers to boycott the Daily Mail and the MailOnline.

SEE ALSO #dropthemail: Labour Campaigners Join Lord Sugar In Call For Advertisers To Withdraw From Daily Mail

Mail On Sunday Apologises 'Unreservedly' For Sneaking Into Memorial For Ed Miliband's Uncle

On Wednesday night, Lord Alan Sugar urged brands to pull their advertising from the Daily Mail as "a punishment" for its attack on Miliband Snr, a Marxist historian.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, the Labour peer and star of The Apprentice, said a "special ilk of people" work at the newspaper but that they have "gone too far this time".

But press officers at Asda, The Cooperative, Morrisons and Waitrose have confirmed they have no plans to change their advertising policy in response to #dropthemail, while others on Twitter have branded the campaign futile and unnecessary.

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Labour Leader Ed Miliband

    Age: 43 Married to: Justine Thornton Children: - Daniel Thornton - Samuel Stewart Thornton

  • Fact One

    He can do a Rubix cube in 90 seconds. Miliband confirmed this rumour to the Daily Mirror, saying he could complete the puzzle in a more modest-sounding "one minute and 30 seconds".

  • Fact Two

    TV? He hasn't got time. The Labour leader says he used to enjoy Eastenders, but can't spare the half hour four times a week to sit down and watch it anymore. We don't blame him, that works out as spending just over four days watching the soap every year.

  • Fact Three

    He's famous enough to have a list of fake facts written about him. <a href="" target="_hplink">Want to know some of the fake facts about Miliband?</a> <blockquote> When Ed Miliband went on the Jeremy Kyle show, the lie detector results simply read, "Awesome". When Ed Miliband slices pizza, every slice is always exactly the same size. Ed Miliband invented Cillit Bang. Ed Miliband climbed Everest... in his lunch hour. Ed Miliband co-wrote Liberty X's number one single, 'Just A Little'. Ed Miliband COULD put Humpty Dumpty together again.</blockquote>

  • Fact Four

    Miliband attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford (pictured) then London School of Economics, becoming a TV journalist before he went into politics.

  • Fact Five

    In 2002/3 Miliband spent a year and a half teaching economics at Harvard University.

  • Miliband sparkling

  • Miliband spitting

  • Miliband seething

  • Miliband sipping

  • Miiband spannering

  • The "not Dave?!!!" speech

  • The "one nation" speech, Labour Party Annual Conference 2012.

  • The "upcoming leader?" speech, Labour Party Conference 2009

  • The "gay marriage" speech, 4 February 2013

  • The "better future" speech, 3 October 2012