May 18, 2009

Spot the difference. Online newspapers or BNP leaflets? It's hard to tell...

This article was submitted by one of our readers, Barry Kade. We welcome any contributions from our supporters (as long as those contributions conform to the law and are in reasonably good taste). Please send your articles to us via email.

Many people will be shocked when they look at the online version of their local newspaper. Instead of appearing to serve the whole local community, these newspapers will suddenly take on the appearance of exclusive party political organs - and not just of any party, but of the notorious racist and fascist BNP.

Nick Griffin's organization has found a new way of spreading its election propaganda. The BNP are paying for advertising space on the websites of local newspapers. Many of these adverts consist of a large banner headline that stretches across the top of the front page above the newspaper's title.

They make local newspaper websites look like a BNP publication, with the slogans of the extreme right-wing party dominating the page. Other formats include a simple BNP logo and a video box. Clicking on the adverts takes the reader via a link straight to the BNP's website. All titles noted so far belong to the giant 'Newsquest' group that owns hundreds of local newspapers across the country, and has 164 of what it calls 'local media brand websites'.

The BNP's Euro-election campaign agent has boasted that she had already booked 'hundreds' of these newspaper ads. Party bosses expect to reach 2.5 million people with this tactic. The adverts have so far been spotted on the following Newsquest titles: Stourbridge News; Dudley News; Bromsgrove Advertiser; Redditch Advertiser; the Kidderminster shuttle; the Echo-News (Southern Essex); and the Colchester Evening Gazette. (Keep your eyes open for more).

These adverts go against the stated policy of the Newsquest corporation itself. This displays a 'diversity statement' on its main website, that proclaims:
'Our mission is to publish market-leading newspapers which reflect the views of the communities they serve.'
The statement also pledges them to secure diversity, equality and fairness amongst its own workforce.

Newspapers should serve the whole community, not the extreme racist and right wing minority BNP. These adverts will cause offense to the diverse majority in any community. Who can trust their local newspaper to impartially bring them news, when they are so closely identified with an extremist political party?

Please complain (politely but firmly) to:

For information about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, contact :
Simon Sarahs
Head of Commercial Development
Newsquest Digital Media
Telephone 0207 489 4930

James Trudgian
Head of Audience Development
Newsquest Digital Media
Telephone 07917 040667

Local Newsquest office (Stourbridge News and Dudley News)
Phone: 01384 358050
Advertising Manager:

Local Newsquest Office (Bromsgrove Advertiser, Redditch Advertiser)

Deputy Editor:

Advertisement Manager:

For more, check it out! Each Newsquest local website/title has a 'contact us' section, where editors, advertising managers etc. office phone numbers and emails can be found. A full list of these with links can be found at :

Newsquests head office website: Has a list of top executives, without any contact details!

For further information relating to diversity within Newsquest, please contact Group HR, on 01932 821212 or by e-mail (also found this website: this also seems to deal with their advertising, saying:

'Newsquest Media Sales represents the national advertising interests of Newsquest Media Group and serves the collective needs of over 4000 advertisers and their agencies'.

London office:
020 7489 4900
And Manchester Office:
0161 848 5200


M. Gino said...

'Our mission is to publish market-leading newspapers which reflect the views of the communities they serve.'

If that's the case, they should reflect the fact that most communities in Britain reject racism and the BNP and tell them to get lost. I'll be emailing.

Mr P said...

Interesting article. New writer too. Welcome Barry. :)

Joe Chapman said...

Oh great, I've been trying to get Newsquest Oxford to stop allowing the BNP to use their website as a propaganda outlet for the past 5 or 6 years, now this. Instead they have banned anti-fascists and allowed comments from BNP members to continue. Several of the paid up local BNP members are on the Oxford Mail forum and it's now looking uncomfortably like Newsquest are in support of the British National Party, although that of course is just my opinion but it is one based on several years experience and evidence.

Anonymous said...

Great article, thanks. Haveemailed the lot but don't really expect a sensible response.

Anonymous said...

"Have emailed the lot but don't really expect a sensible response."

Me too but they're in business to make money. I don't suppose a few complaints will phase them but it's worth a try.

DT said...

Cracking article, mates. I see its been picked up by Tory Troll too. :)

Anonymous said...

Business is business. The papers need the money.

Essex said...

Greetings from Essex!
Here is the response I received following my complaint today to the editor of the 'Echo' paper/site;

Thanks for your email regarding BNP advertising. We are accepting paid-for advertising from any political parties orcandidates standing in the current elections.I appreciate how strongly many people feel about the BNP, but it would beundemocratic and against the principle of free speech to refuse to acceptany party's advertising provided it falls within our guidelines. The Echo has consistently opposed the BNP in our Comment column and willcontinue to do so.As editor, I have twice been taken to court, unsuccessfully, by a BNPactivist who did not like my editorial stance. I also regularly receiveBNP hate mail.Despite this, I feel I must defend the right of all parties to take outpaid-for advertising is support of their election candidates.Best wishes, Martin McNeillEditorial DirectorNewsquest Essex

Anonymous said...

I've emailed.
They cannot simply brush off legitimate complaints couched in polite but outraged fashion, one would hope.

A Chap said...

Thanks for posting your reply, Essex. It's not an unreasoned response, though I do get sick of hearing that free speech argument all the time. Precisely how much free speech would the BNP allow the press (and particularly the administrators of Lancaster Unity) if they were in control? None at all, I suspect.

Anonymous said...

Keep at it guys.

george said...

It's funny someone mentioned Oxford Newsquest. I once complained to them about a viciously racist pro-nazi BNP-supporting member of their forums who called himself "Hitler".

I also asked MP Mr Harris (liberal democrats) to complain about them but he too ignored my emails, as if he didn't give care about such matters.

Newsquest Sucks said...

On the Newsquest Oxford Mail newspaper forum (owned by American rightwing neocon media magnate Gannett) a vile holocaust denier, racist, fascist and BNP activist wrote uncensored about how he believed Jews brought the holocaust (which he calls "antagonism") upon themselves.

"The links between Jews and Communists in Weimar Germany led to The National Socialists antagonism towards the Jewish Communists." - Fran14W

Source: Oxford Mail

dee said...

Newsquest's Oxfordshire Forum has a bnp supporting member called Hitler.

Anonymous said...

Well I think Newsquest might like to ponder on wether it is worth the cost.

We know from past judgements that it is ilegal for a council to discriminate against a Newspaper on political grounds.

BUT if local coucils were to cancel thier advertising in these newsquest publications (Job adverts, statutory notices) not on political grounds but on equal opportunity and non discrimanatory grounds then I would suggest that they would not carry these banners in the future. And the threat of doing so would swiftly bring Newsquest into decent behaviour.

Old Sailor

gannett sucks said...

There's a blogspot devoted to digging the dirt about the Gannett Group, but they don't as yet seem to know about Newsquest is doing in the UK.

Might be worth getting in touch with them to let them know the score, Joe: -

Joe Chapman said...

The democracy and freedom of expression issue is a fob off. Newsquest is a private company, its websites and forums are privately run with their own terms and conditions (and a diversity policy) so by default Newsquest and its website have no democracy and have no freedom of expression. They are not obliged to advertise any political party whatsoever and it would probably be best if they didn't advertise any.

Unfortunately the neanderthals on the Oxford Mail forum are predicably crying about democracy and freedom of expression, the irony of that has already been pointed out.

I really hope in years to come we aren't discussing how Newsquest and other newspapers helped the rise of the far right in this country just as the Nazis used the media back then.

Anonymous said...

This story is disected over at Hold the Front Page. It's a good report.

Mr Osato said...

Newsquest don't give a toss how many complaints they get, their contempt for readers, their own staff or members of the public knows no bounds. You need to get together a list of advertisers for each of these websites and newspapers, then write to them asking if they want to be associated with the BNP filth. When they styart phoning up to cancel, and only then, will Newsquest pull the ads.

This is a company that made a big deal about banning ads for escorts just a few months back. OK, not everyones cup of tea, but fascism - OK Prostitution - No way? Is that what Newsquest stands for?

Mr O - embittered former Scumquest employee

Anonymous said...

The housing market has crashed, so the local papers have lost income from the estate agents going bust/cutting back on adverts. If someone offers to buy adverts that bring income in during a recession I am afraid companies will not turn it down.

Same with the huge advertising boards the BNP have booked because other companies have slashed marketing budgets.

Anonymous said...

Joe - "I really hope in years to come we aren't discussing how Newsquest and other newspapers helped the rise of the far right in this country just as the Nazis used the media back then."Should these scumbags of the British Nonjces Party come to power there will be no discusion whatsoever !!!

Old Sailor

"Lee Barnes is proof that care in the community does not work"

James said...

Really this is great article.. i would like to say many many thanks for this great information, like all details(name,email and telephone no.). I hope it will help lot of people.

Anonymous said...

I just found out that the founder of Newsquest started his own online paper on