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Trade journal's editor calls on Jon Snow, Andrew Gilligan, Jeremy Vine and 70,000 other journalists to shun bike retailer...

The editor of the Press Gazette has called on journalists including Channel 4 newscaster Jon Snow to boycott Evans Cycles after the retailer’s announcement earlier this week that it was blacklisting advertising on the websites of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun.

Besides Snow – who also happens to be the president of the charity Cycling UK – Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford also named former London cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan and the BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine as being high-profile cyclists among the UK’s estimated 70,000 journalists.

“Today I urge this trio and all their cycling brethren in the news media to consider boycotting the UK’s leading bicycle retailer Evans Cycles,” he wrote.

“I for one will be taking my custom elsewhere the next time I need a replacement inner tube or high-vis top.”

Explaining why he was urging a boycott, Ponsford said: “The reason why is that Evans has (in my view) cast itself as an enemy of free speech by placing the Mail and Express titles and The Sun on a blacklist of advertisers who it will no longer spend money with.”

In a separate article published on the Press Gazette’s website, the Daily Mail accused Evans of a “blatant publicity stunt” over its decision to blacklist it.

Evans had made its decision in response to a request from the campaign group Stop Funding Hate after it emerged that adverts for the chain were appearing on their websites.

On Monday, the retailer tweeted: “We’ve now blacklisted any advertising placements on Daily Mail, Sun and Express. Should go through shortly. Happy to #Startspreadinglove!”

It added: “Needless to say, the content highlighted on these outlets go against our core values as a business. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.”

But a spokesperson for the Daily Mail told the Press Gazette that Evans does not advertise directly with it and that the adverts were generated automatically via a third party based on a person’s browsing history.

They added that a screenshot showing advertising from Evans on Mail Online appeared on an article from 15 years ago that had originally been published not by the Daily Mail, but the Mail on Sunday which it pointed out was a separate operation.

Those same points were made by Ponsford in his editorial, leading one commenter to suggest that it read as if it had been “written (or dictated) by senior management at Derry St,” the road in Kensington where the Daily Mail is based.

The Press Gazette editor said that the article in question – a comment piece by Peter Hitchens about Conservative MP Alan Duncan under the headline ‘I'm sorry Mr Duncan. if you're gay you are not a Tory’ as “admittedly fairly vile.”

Similarly, he chose to focus on the individual story appearing with an Evans advertisement on The Sun’s website – a comment piece by Rod Liddle – with Ponsford saying “It’s hardly extremist literature and difficult to understand why it has caused offence.”

He added: “It seems more likely that The Sun is being punished for past sins.”

Many people, including Stop Funding Hate’s almost 80,000 followers on Twitter, would see his – and the Daily Mail’s – focus on the individual story in question as rather missing the point.

To use an analogy from the print edition, which the Daily Mail says Evans does not advertise in, it would be like commenting on an advert appearing say in the sports pages without considering it in the wider context of the newspaper – or in this case, the website – as a whole.

While Ponsford may be talking his business elsewhere, the decision by Evans to blacklist the three outlets from its online advertising  was warmly welcomed on social media this week by many past and present customers.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

55 comments

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turboprannet [292 posts] 2 months ago
13 likes

I know where he can put his "hi vis top" for starters.

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srchar [708 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
road.cc wrote:

the decision by Evans to blacklist the three outlets from its online advertising  was warmly welcomed on social media this week by many past and present customers.

It was also mocked in equal measure by your very own readers in the comments on the original article.

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atlaz [255 posts] 2 months ago
24 likes

So you're an enemy of free speech if you don't advertise with red tops? ooooookaaaaaaaay

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a1white [72 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes
turboprannet wrote:

I know where he can put his "hi vis top" for starters.

...and his inner tube...

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Grahamd [756 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Getting their bib knickers in a twist, good.

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darrenleroy [253 posts] 2 months ago
10 likes

The problem with StopFundingHate is that it uses the term 'Hate' when it means 'Something We Don't Agree With'.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1892 posts] 2 months ago
21 likes
darrenleroy wrote:

The problem with StopFundingHate is that it uses the term 'Hate' when it means 'Something We Don't Agree With'.

The problem with your comment is that it's drivel.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1892 posts] 2 months ago
9 likes
srchar wrote:
road.cc wrote:

the decision by Evans to blacklist the three outlets from its online advertising  was warmly welcomed on social media this week by many past and present customers.

It was also mocked in equal measure by your very own readers in the comments on the original article.

Only by those keen to defend the far right.

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pjm60 [27 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes

who bloody well cares. advertise where you want. buy your inner tubes where you want. pointless drama about nothing as usual

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userfriendly [617 posts] 2 months ago
9 likes
srchar wrote:
road.cc wrote:

the decision by Evans to blacklist the three outlets from its online advertising  was warmly welcomed on social media this week by many past and present customers.

It was also mocked in equal measure by your very own readers in the comments on the original article.

Only by knuckledragging scum who are happy to support racism if not racist themselves.

Avatar
userfriendly [617 posts] 2 months ago
8 likes
pjm60 wrote:

pointless drama about nothing

... is precisely what millions of Germans said in 1932. But I forgot, Brits are a cut above the rest, aren't they? Can't happen to them. Also precisely what millions of Germans said in 1932.

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Yorkshire wallet [1576 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
srchar wrote:
road.cc wrote:

the decision by Evans to blacklist the three outlets from its online advertising  was warmly welcomed on social media this week by many past and present customers.

It was also mocked in equal measure by your very own readers in the comments on the original article.

Only by those keen to defend the far right.

You really are quite black and white. Nazi or moral superior is all you seem to be seeing.

Bloody Marxists!

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Gashead [36 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

They lost me at "cycling brethren"

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turboprannet [292 posts] 2 months ago
8 likes
userfriendly wrote:
pjm60 wrote:

pointless drama about nothing

... is precisely what millions of Germans said in 1932. But I forgot, Brits are a cut above the rest, aren't they? Can't happen to them. Also precisely what millions of Germans said in 1932.

Godwinned in under an hour.

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LastBoyScout [333 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

Whether I buy anything from Evans largely depends on whether they've got what I want, when I want it and at a price I consider value for money and not where they spend their advertising budget.

Pretty much the same an any other retailer, then.

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bstock [23 posts] 2 months ago
17 likes

So the Mail is free to demonize whoever but companies aren't free to decline to do business with them.

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guildwheeler [31 posts] 2 months ago
17 likes

Evans have just gone up in my estimation & if I ever need an inner tube, I'll gladly buy from them. Hi-viz on the other hand...!

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srchar [708 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
userfriendly wrote:

Only by knuckledragging scum who are happy to support racism if not racist themselves.

Just a brain-dead ad-hom attack. No-platforming is stupid. Let the far-right speak. Let people see how ridiculous the rhetoric of the EDL, BNP, Britain First et al is. No-platforming these people allows them a dubious claim to legitimacy - "they daren't let us speak the truth!"  You only have to glance at a far-right Twitter account to realise that these people actually gain strength and claim the moral high ground precisely because they're having their accounts deleted.

I don't know if you noticed that we became the most tolerant country on the face of the planet before "Hate Speech" was even a thing.  Bigoted attitudes have been challenged and intellectual arguments won against those who didn't want women to have the vote, people who thought homosexuality was a crime, landlords who wouldn't rent properties to black people, to give just three examples, in the last hundred years.  Winning The Argument is important - it is the best way to defeat backwards attitudes. Not no-platforming. Not simply labelling people "racist" because they disagree with an organisation's approach.

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danthomascyclist [347 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

Having read the article I did not expect to scroll to the comments and see arguments about racism, homosexuality, pre-war Germany, BNP, hate speech and Marxists

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Ush [1018 posts] 2 months ago
9 likes

I run a webforum.  With advertisements on it.  Never once has the Press Gazette advertised on it.  They are denying me my free speech.  There are a lot of other people in cahoots with them in this taking away of my rights.  The conspiracy is vast: it even involves Kim Jong-Il and Donald Trump.

Avatar
Ush [1018 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
srchar wrote:

Just a brain-dead ad-hom attack. No-platforming is stupid. Let the far-right speak. Let people see how ridiculous the rhetoric of the EDL, BNP, Britain First et al is.

I agree.  I shall be applying to speak at your child's next school assembly.  Following that I shall be appearing in your living room.  I may also walk beside you in Sainsbury's during your weekly shop discussing phrenology, Jews, immigrants and abortion.  Some people HAVE ACTUALLY TRIED TO STOP ME DOING THIS!

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davel [2001 posts] 2 months ago
8 likes
srchar wrote:

I don't know if you noticed that we became the most tolerant country on the face of the planet before "Hate Speech" was even a thing.  Bigoted attitudes have been challenged and intellectual arguments won against those who didn't want women to have the vote, people who thought homosexuality was a crime, landlords who wouldn't rent properties to black people, to give just three examples, in the last hundred years.  Winning The Argument is important - it is the best way to defeat backwards attitudes. Not no-platforming. Not simply labelling people "racist" because they disagree with an organisation's approach.

I totally agree.... In theory.

In practice it really isn't a fair fight.

One of May's first QTs after she became PM had Corbyn draw 3 relevant points into a coherent argument (house prices, rent prices and homelessness). May stood up and made a rehearsed soundbite that had sod-all to do with the argument. Guess what made the front page(!) headlines in 3 of the next day's papers - not the debate that the country should probably have; it was basically May pulling a moonie at Corbyn.

Being rational and giving the loonies enough rope really isn't the only answer when these three irrational rags set a large part of the political agenda. We have the recent example of the Tories kneejerking their way into (announcing, at least) a review of the Charlie Allistons, who aren't a problem, while completely ignoring (sorry, 2040-ing) the metal elephants in the room (and their mahouts) that fart pollution and shit driver, cyclist and pedestrian corpses. There needs to be an element of this 'campaign' that isn't afraid to gouge eyes or punch nuts.

 (I don't even look at The S*n since Hillsborough anyway... and I'm an Everton fan).

Avatar
velodinho [106 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Evans is overpriced and the Daily Mail writes predictable drivel. I don't patronise either of them. Stuff them both.

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shay cycles [402 posts] 2 months ago
15 likes

Sorry but I fail to see the link between The Daily Mail and journalism

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Jimnm [269 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
guildwheeler wrote:

Evans have just gone up in my estimation & if I ever need an inner tube, I'll gladly buy from them. Hi-viz on the other hand...!

I agree with your comment. Who gives a shit about the media, as long as we can buy or cycling bits.

JC4PM 

Avatar
darrenleroy [253 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
darrenleroy wrote:

The problem with StopFundingHate is that it uses the term 'Hate' when it means 'Something We Don't Agree With'.

The problem with your comment is that it's drivel.

 

The problem with your comment is that it's subjective.

Much in the same way the concept of 'hate' is. Do you understand that?

Avatar
ConcordeCX [510 posts] 2 months ago
10 likes
srchar wrote:
userfriendly wrote:

Only by knuckledragging scum who are happy to support racism if not racist themselves.

Just a brain-dead ad-hom attack. No-platforming is stupid. Let the far-right speak. Let people see how ridiculous the rhetoric of the EDL, BNP, Britain First et al is. No-platforming these people allows them a dubious claim to legitimacy - "they daren't let us speak the truth!"  You only have to glance at a far-right Twitter account to realise that these people actually gain strength and claim the moral high ground precisely because they're having their accounts deleted.

I don't know if you noticed that we became the most tolerant country on the face of the planet before "Hate Speech" was even a thing.  Bigoted attitudes have been challenged and intellectual arguments won against those who didn't want women to have the vote, people who thought homosexuality was a crime, landlords who wouldn't rent properties to black people, to give just three examples, in the last hundred years.  Winning The Argument is important - it is the best way to defeat backwards attitudes. Not no-platforming. Not simply labelling people "racist" because they disagree with an organisation's approach.

broadly speaking I agree with you about letting the bad guys reveal themselves, and in my view anyone can hold and give any opinion they want. 

But nobody is obliged to listen to them or to give them a platform. If they want a platform, let them provide their own, but don't expect me to listen to them.

oh, and where they do have a platform of their own, how generous are they with publishing opposing opinions?

 

Avatar
dottigirl [808 posts] 2 months ago
9 likes
ConcordeCX wrote:

broadly speaking I agree with you about letting the bad guys reveal themselves, and in my view anyone can hold and give any opinion they want. 

But nobody is obliged to listen to them or to give them a platform. If they want a platform, let them provide their own, but don't expect me to listen to them.

oh, and where they do have a platform of their own, how generous are they with publishing opposing opinions?

 

This.

We're in the state we're in now because media coverage has been given to extreme views when reasoned and logical arguments have been ignored. Chasing headlines and clicks which engender fear and hate rather than presenting fact.

Avatar
RTB [190 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
userfriendly wrote:
srchar wrote:
road.cc wrote:

the decision by Evans to blacklist the three outlets from its online advertising  was warmly welcomed on social media this week by many past and present customers.

It was also mocked in equal measure by your very own readers in the comments on the original article.

Only by knuckledragging scum who are happy to support racism if not racist themselves.

 

What's worse than an insulting fool?  A rabid insulting fool.

Avatar
srchar [708 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
ConcordeCX wrote:

But nobody is obliged to listen to them or to give them a platform. If they want a platform, let them provide their own, but don't expect me to listen to them.

I agree.  And of course, any business is free to decide who they do and do not advertise with, whatever the reason.  What does not sit comfortably with me here is that a corporation has stated that their thinking is based on a desire to see certain elements of the free press close down, and not because the Mail vilifies cyclists and Evans are a cycling retailer, but becase they don't like its politics.  The Sun/Mail/Express are rags, but if this is successful, my worry is that it doesn't stop there.

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