An activist group is leading a growing campaign against Sainsbury’s, as the supermarket continues to advertise during Nigel Farage’s new TV show on GB News, prompting some customers to apparently jump ship.
In its latest tweet the campaign group said: “Sainsburys has now been asked several thousand times to justify why it pays Nigel Farage’s salary by advertising on his TV show, but all those people have been met with silence.
“So we took their messages to @Sainsburys HQ.”
The account has shared a video showing a van driving up to the headquarters with a digital screen on the side, showing tweets from unsatisfied customers.
One tweet reads: “Do you believe the majority of your customers are happy with you advertising on GB News?
“Nigel Farage is spreading his particular brand of hate on there including disparaging the RNLI for saving migrants.
“I am a regular customer and bitterly disappointed.”
The RNLI, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, rescues those out at sea.
It was pushed into the spotlight when Farage dubbed it a “taxi service for illegal trafficking gangs” for saving migrants’ lives in the English Channel during his GB News show.
His comments sparked national outrage and prompted a surge in donations to the service.
Another tweet, shown on the side of the van, read: ”@sainsburys Nigel Farage is attacking the RNLI. Why are you helping to pay him to do this?”
A third read: “So #Sainsburys is still trashing a lot of customer goodwill, including mine, by sponsoring Nigel Farage’s TV show and his attacks on #RNLIheroes. Sort it out @sainsburys?”
Others asked when the supermarket chain would “stop funding Farage”, adding: “Would be good to know before I do my next weekly shop.”
In a tongue-in-cheek gesture, Led By Donkeys also put the video to the song The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel.
Sainsbury’s have been contacted for comment.
Shoppers are not happy
In response, customers are taking to social media and vowing not to return to the supermarket chain until it addresses its sponsorship for the show.
One claimed: “Will be boycotting @sainsburys until we get an answer on this. Justify your actions or make the change – it’s really not rocket science.”
Another video, posted on Thursday, on the same topic accumulated more than 9,000 likes after highlighting comments from Sainsbury’s CEO, Simon Roberts.
In May, Roberts said: “We all have a responsibility to help build an equal society, free from racial discrimination and there’s still a long way to go.”
The clip concludes with the activists asking the supermarket to stick to its “values”, noting that it had started advertising with GB News just two months later.
When the former Ukip leader first confirmed he was hosting a new TV show, the group also used a dual billboard placement to emphasise some of his most controversial quotes – alongside the brands who still back GB News.
Why GB News need Sainsbury’s support
The former Brexit Party leader grabbed a prime time 7pm slot for his new programme titled Farage on Andrew Neil’s new channel, GB News, in July.
The right-leaning broadcaster has already struggled after a previous wave of public pressure saw several big name sponsors pull ads when it launched.
Swedish furniture giant Ikea, cider firm Kopparberg and Octopus Energy were just a few of the names who pulled their adverts from the new network after it went live on air in June.
Sky Media allegedly placed many advertising partners on GB News without informing them first, and once furious boycotters piped up, they were quick to drop their connections to the new channel.
Almost two months after its launch, Sainsbury’s is now the last UK supermarket openly backing GB News, after Co-op moved away from the channel.
Led By Donkeys’ fight against Farage
This is also not Led By Donkeys’ first time targeting the Brexiteer and former politician Farage.
The group first came to prominence when it launched its anti-Brexit campaigns in 2018, and rapidly developed a reputation for its use of satire and art to hold those in power to account.
In March 2019, the group set up a fundraiser called ‘Let’s take the truth to Farage’s Brexit march’, after he announced a two-week pro-Brexit march through the UK.
It hired two advertising vans to follow the march with past statements and video clips of the then Brexit Party leader to undermine his credibility.
The collective created a mirror website for Farage’s marchtoleave.com, and altered the route so it would go through every constituency where he had fought and lost an election.
They also released a video on YouTube showing Farage’s reaction once he saw one of the vans driving into view during his Brexit march, which then went viral.