BuzzFeed says Trump is ‘hazardous to our health,’ bails on RNC ad buy

By Teresa Welsh

BuzzFeed cancelled an ad buy with the RNC over Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
BuzzFeed cancelled an ad buy with the RNC over Donald Trump’s rhetoric. AP

BuzzFeed has cancelled an advertising agreement with the Republican National Committee due to presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks.

The website is pulling out of an agreement signed with the RNC earlier this year, according to an email BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti sent to staff Monday. He explained that Trump’s rhetoric attacking the press and proposing to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. mean his company can no longer accept RNC dollars for the ad campaign. The deal was reportedly worth $1.3 million.

“We certainly don't like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company,” Peretti wrote. “However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don't run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won't accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.”

Peretti also objected to Trump’s “offensive statements” about women, immigrants and foreign nationals. He said BuzzFeed had informed the RNC the website would not be accepting Trump for President ads.

“We don't need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers. And as you know, there is a wall between our business and editorial operations,” Peretti wrote. “This decision to cancel this ad buy will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign.”

The RNC has not publicly commented on the deal’s demise.