Tensions mounted inside Amazon as their employees pushed the management to stop the ads running on Breitbart News for Amazon products.
On 22nd March, 2017, an Amazon employee group wasn’t happy with Amazon running ads on Breitbart. They wrote an email to SVP Jeff Blackburn and CEO Jeff Bezos. The mail had a petition that opposed the continued advertising of the company on Breitbart with about 564 signatures.
The email stated that an Amazon employee had confronted the SVP at the March all-hands meeting of the company about the advertising on a site that is known to publish bigoted and hateful content.
The employee asked with the applause from the coworkers as to what would take for them to not advertise on Breitbart News.
The email stated that Blackburn had no reply to this question. He said that the relationship of Amazon with Breitbart was a little complicated.
Although Amazon has no direct relationship with the news company, they do select the exchanges via which they buy ads and they also might have some say in how those ads are targeted. According to the mail, the employee outcry that is outgoing might cause the company to review their decision of allowing their ads to run on the Breitbart site.
Since the election last year, the leadership of Amazon has faced a direct pressure from their employees and customers to cut their ad ties from Breitbart. A website called SumOfUs.org has a petition signed by more than 550,000 people, which is urging the company to stop being an investor in hate, a sign to pull out of Breitbart ads. At the same time, Sleeping Giants, an anonymous collective of marketers has successfully called about 1600 advertisers out of putting ad dollars into Breitbart.
When the news was first reported on the unrest of Amazon employees on the ads on Breitbart in February, about 34 employees had filed individual complaints to the management of the company. Now with a petition of almost 600 signatories, most of whom are LGBTQ, colored people, or women, the momentum is clearly on the increasing side. Worldwide, Amazon employs about 340,000 employees.
The employees of Amazon said that the company had been extremely unresponsive to their complaints earlier. One told that they had been just brushing them off. But in recent terms, a movement has started to address this issue. Sources also said that the leadership of Amazon met with the representative employee behind the petition this Tuesday morning.
The Amazon employee told that now the company is taking this problem very seriously. The decision has not yet been finalized, but the direction is finally right!
There was no response to the multiple requests that were sent to Amazon for comment on this internal email.