Gawker: How to Lose Sponsors and Alienate Readers
“Gamers are dead.”
What’s the worst that can possibly come from that statement? Well, when you’re a gaming journalism site insulting your prime reading base, quite a bit.
For those of you who are not yet up to speed on Gamer Gate, here’s a quick rundown.
As the video details, #gamergate is not about games at all. Basically, anyone can tell it’s a story about professional victims, fox and grapes and exchanging sex for favors. However, due to a controlled narrative, there are still those who buy the illusion that this is about misogyny in a “male dominated” game culture.
Well, to put it quite frankly, people talk, money walks, and we’re watching one of the greatest testaments to free market capitalism of our time. As Kevin O’Leary from The Shark Tank says “I love money, because it has no soul, no emotion.” Every smart business man knows that when you ostracize your consumer base, for any reason, you are digging a grave to bury your business. Yet that is exactly what popular game journalism outlet “Gawker” has done. As an example, a journalist for Gawker, Sam Biddle, released this tweet in poor taste. Gamasutra released similar articles, one of which was that now famous “gamers are dead” which caused Intel Corp. to pull out funding from the site.
In a stroke of genius, gamers spoke with their wallets and politely wrote letters to Gawker’s advertising sponsors to express their discontent. It worked. BMW North America and Mercedes both pulled their advertisements from Gawker and Adobe gave them a cease and desist, decrying their bullying through a tweet.
Just to put this into perspective, the minimum ad buy in for Gawker is $25,000, a less-than-trivial amount to any website.
After being informed of the bullying, doxing and harassment against individuals involved with #gamergate, BMW wrote the following:
“Thank you for writing to BMW of North America, LLC. We understand your concerns and the BMW Group does not tolerate bullying or the disparagement of individuals. We have taken action to ensure we do not advertise with Gawker.””
As time progresses, you can keep track of advertisers who have dropped their sponsorship at these websites: