IN a row sparked by advertisers pulling their commercials from GB News, "boycott" has become one of the words of the week, but a glance at history shows they are nothing new.


Who pulled their commercials?

A number of well known brands, including drinks firms Grolsch and Kopparberg, IKEA, skincare brand Nivea and the Open University all said they will distance themselves from the new GB News channel.



The organisations were coming under pressure from campaign groups opposed to the new “anti-woke” channel, with suggestions that allowing guests such as Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage air time will help encourage a new era of hate speech on UK television screens.  A website was set up, while campaign group, Stop Funding Hate, called on its 123,000 Twitter followers to pressure the brands to suspend commercials.


What did the firms say?

IKEA said it had "not knowingly advertised on GB News" as it has "safeguards in place to prevent our advertising from appearing on platforms that are not in line with our humanistic values”, while Kopparberg said it was unaware its adverts were airing on the channel - of which Andrew Neil is chairman - and said they had been suspended.


What did Neil say?

He tweeted a link to a story about a French IKEA CEO, saying: “Ikea has decided to boycott GB News because of our alleged values. Here are Ikea’s values — a French CEO who is a criminal with a two year suspended jail sentence for spying on staff.”


But then…?

Viewers angry over the advertisers’ boycott announced their own plans to boycott the firms in question, with “Go Woke, Go Broke”trending on Twitter in response. One Twitter user tweeted: “Another company on the list - cheers Andrew, won't waste my money there again.”


Politicians then called for a boycott of the firms?

Tory MP for South Thanet, Craig Mackinlay, told the Daily Mail: “I am now putting together a list of beers and household products that I will not be buying.”



Scots tycoon Duncan Bannatyne tweeted: “That’s it GB News, I will never shop at IKEA again. Oh just a minute, I never did shop there anyway.”


Boycotts are nothing new?

Indeed, they are historic. During the Irish land war of 1880, Irish nationalist politician, Charles Stewart Parnell, suggested ostracising British estate manager, Charles Cunningham Boycott, in protest at high rents and land evictions. The tenants took action and the term was born.


They are threaded through major history?

Boycotts were a political and social tool in America's civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, where firms who discriminated against blacks were boycotted in a bid to encourage a policy change. South Africa. during apartheid, was subject to boycotts by a raft of countries and international bodies.


Among the most memorable?

The boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in the Soviet Union was initiated by the United States in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In 1984, the Soviet Union and its allies retaliated, boycotting the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.