Paper Chase, a favourite among the UK public for Christmas gift shopping and wrapping papers, recently faced some negative feedback from customers on Twitter over their promotional partnership with the Daily Mail.
After a torrid few weeks of divisive stories about trans people, is a Daily Mail promotion really what customers want to see @FromPaperchase? #StartSpreadingLove #StopFundingHate https://t.co/T1psWVEFpk pic.twitter.com/BI5Vf0KTgd
— Stop Funding Hate (@StopFundingHate) November 18, 2017
The stationery company expressed regret and promised to review all customer feedback.
Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. We genuinely like to know what customers think about us – even though on this occasion some of your feedback is uncomfortable to hear. We promise to review in detail all customer feedback on this promotion.
— Paperchase (@FromPaperchase) November 18, 2017
What followed was a massive wave of people expressing their disappointment– some saying they would revoke customer loyalty by switching to different brands.
Paperchase is normally first stop when Christmas shopping. But for as long as you’re in the Daily Mail, it’s on my naughty list.
— Liam (@ljmgordon) November 18, 2017
— Lucy Phillips (@LucyTheSingerUK) November 18, 2017
— _Lotusflower_🇪🇺 (@lotusflowerldn) November 18, 2017
#StopFundingHate, a hashtag started by an organisation with the same name, seeks to promote brands with ethical advertising, and expose brands who advertise with outlets that are seen as “divisive”. Stop Funding Hate has a list of brands they view as practicing “ethical advertising”, view it here.
Their Twitter account bio reads: “Don’t hate the media– change the media. Help us take on the divisive hate campaigns of the Sun, Daily Mail & Daily Express.”
They believe that British outlets the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express, promote division and spread negativity especially towards minority groups, and companies who advertise on these outlets “fund the hate”.
On Monday morning, Paperchase issued a public apology on their Twitter page, saying “we now know we were wrong”.
We’ve listened to you about this weekend’s newspaper promotion. We now know we were wrong to do this – we’re truly sorry and we won’t ever do it again. Thanks for telling us what you really think and we apologise if we have let you down on this one. Lesson learnt.
— Paperchase (@FromPaperchase) November 20, 2017
A spokesman from the Daily Mail told PR Week that it was “deeply worrying” that Paperchase allowed itself to be “bullied into apologising” due to the negative reaction on Twitter and other social media.
The spokesman also said that this was their only promotion with the Daily Mail and Paperchase did not have any further plans to advertise with the outlet in the future.
In response to StopFundingHate, Daily Mail told PR Week: “It is one of the fundamental principles of free and fearless journalism that editorial decisions are not dictated by advertisers or commercial partners, and we are sure the PR industry will be as appalled as we are by Stop Funding Hate’s attempts to threaten the Mail and other newspapers.”
Words: Ainaa Mashrique