Brands abandon Sky News as controversial interview sparks internet outrage

Huggies, Specsavers and American Express have dropped deals with Sky News Australia after the channel aired an interview with infamous United Patriots Front founder and convicted criminal Blair Cottrell.

Audiences were shocked by comments made by Cottrell during an interview with host Adam Giles , “What we lack in this country is national pride… that is necessary to galvanise the minds of the masses and to protect the people of this country against foreign ideologies.

“If we can rebuild or reclaim our traditional identity as Australians then we may not need a Donald Trump, we may be able to fix the situation ourselves.”

Cottrell’s actions have been highlighted in the media before; in 2015 Cottrell protested the building of a mosque in Bendigo by staging a fake beheading while chanting “Allahu Akbar.” A video of the stunt was uploaded to the United Patriots Front’s Facebook page and defended as an act of free speech.

Blair Cottrell is also the first Australian under common law to be charged with ‘hate speech’ under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

Virgin Australia was the first to feel pressure from customers, the program was aired in Virgin lounges around Australia.

 

Soon after, other brands associated with Sky News began to receive threats of boycotting, including a directive from Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan for Metro to remove Sky New’s broadcasting in all CBD stations.

 

Following the backlash, Sky News Australia issues something approximating an apology, announcing they had removed the interview from distribution.

Reacting to the outcry, Cottrell posted, “I am so hated by the Left and their corporate masters that if you’re a presenter for mainstream media in Australia, you’ll literally lose your job if you interview me.”

 

Update: This article previously stated that Virgin Australia ended its broadcast deal with Sky News Australia following online pressure. Marketing has since become aware that although the program did air in Virgin lounges, Virgin Australia did not have a ‘broadcast deal’ with Sky News Australia.

 

 

Image credit: Kayla Velasquez

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 9 August 2018
Josh Loh is a newswriter and editorial assistant at MarketingMag.com.au