Advertisers' federation investigated for scheme to demonetize conservative content

 April 3, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Advertisers are colluding – in violation of U.S. antitrust laws – to demonetize "disfavored" online content, mostly conservative views, according to charges leveled in a letter from U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

He wrote to officials of Diageo, which holds a key position on the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, one branch of the World Federation of Advertisers.

He called for their submission of documentation of what has been going on, and warned them to preserve other documents for further congressional review of their actions.

"Evidence the committee has obtained suggests that GARM members, led by Steer Team members, are colluding to demonetize conservative platforms and voices," the letter charges. "Further, this coordination does not always revolve around 'brand safety' and 'harmful' content as GARM publicly claims, but instead the desire to censor conservative and other views that GARM members disfavor."

"Communications the committee has reviewed directly connects Diageo with these efforts," the letter explains, "Under the Sherman Act, these types of agreements may be illegal, and they require considering the adequacy of current law. The actions are concerning and warrant oversight because the harm that GARM causes to consumers is severe."

Specifically, content creators lose revenue as "advertising investment is steered away from content that GARM disfavors," Jordan wrote.

The documents being sought include communications among WFA, GARM and group members "referring or relating to the categorization, demonetization or elimination of online speech" as well as communications referring to "conservative media outlets, including Fox News, Daily Wire, and Breitbart."

The Daily Wire, in fact, reported the investigation includes whether "major advertisers" broke the law by coordinating "about which news outlets to blackball."

Documents already obtained from WFA "show how it implemented a strategy to prevent major advertisers from doing business with disfavored news outlets," the report said.

The report explained, "The letters went to major corporations on GARM’s 'steering committee' — Unilever, Procter & Gamble, GroupM, Diageo, and Mars — saying the documents 'directly connect' the companies with such efforts."

Those documents have not been released to the public.

GARM was "created" in an announcement by WFA at the 2019 Cannes festival, at which global elites gathered to complain about "disinformation" and "fake news," topics that Joe Biden is using as a foundation for his 2024 presidential campaign.

That announcement, according to the Daily Wire, claimed that GARM "focuses on viewer safety for consumers, reducing risks for advertisers, developing credibility for digital platforms and, more broadly, ensuring a sustainable online ecosystem."

Partners announced then included LEGO Group, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, NBC Universal – MSNBC, Dentsu Group, WPP (through GroupM), Interpublic Group, Publicis Groupe, Omnicom Group, Facebook and Google."

Shortly later, GARM said it would be targeting "misinformation."

It suggested companies should turn to organizations with extreme left agendas, including Global Disinformation Index, Newsguard and Journalism Trust Initiative to coordinate their demonetization.

GARM boasted in 2022, "GARM’s launch was propelled forward by uncommon collaboration, a unique way of working recognizing that all sectors of the advertising industry and companies benefit from partnering to create new brand safety standards and solutions that could be accepted industry-wide, where there had been no established protocols."

It included 61 major corporations responsible for massive portions of the world's advertising market, along with 35 industry associations.

The problem with such ratings, and collaboration, is that the recommendations for "safety" often have nothing to do with "safety," but everything to do with a political agenda.

Actions that already have been treated as offensive include questioning COVID's origins as well as its experimental shots, undue influences on elections and revealing details of government and media "disinformation" campaigns that protect some politicians.

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