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People Are Still Mad About Amazon’s Breitbart Ads

Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Today marks the annual commencement of Amazon Prime Day, aka Christmas in July, aka the new Black Friday, aka the online shopping bonanza that leaves every other retailer gasping for air.

Last year, analysts estimated Amazon made $525 million in sales from the self-made holiday, and this year’s sales will probably surpass that, considering the number of Amazon Prime members recently hit 85 million (that’s 64 percent of US households).

Amid all the hubbub though, there is still one thorn in Amazon’s side, and that’s the PR crisis regarding its ads on Breitbart, the conservative publication and former employer of Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

Back in February, a group of activists that call themselves Sleeping Giants began contacting companies that have programmatic ads via third-party companies on Breitbart. In response, nearly 2,400 companies, including Nordstrom, Henri Bendel, Lululemon, Teva, Uniqlo, Sephora, and The Honest Company, have stopped advertising on Breitbart. While some, like Etsy, pulled ads but wouldn’t talk about it openly, others, like Warby Parker, told Racked its ads were pulled from Breitbart because the brand is “committed to building a diverse and inclusive community that treats everyone with respect and dignity, and it's important to us that our advertisements appear on sites that believe in those same values.”

In true Amazon fashion, the notoriously secretive e-commerce giant hasn’t responded to any appeals, and its ads are still prominently displayed on Breitbart. Disappointed shoppers aren’t letting a spectacle like Amazon Prime Day pass without bringing up the controversy: Hundreds have been spending the last day or so responding to its Prime Day promo tweets, calling out Amazon for continuing to advertise with Breitbart.

Sleeping Giants is still going at it, too.

Even though groups like #GrabYourWallet have been calling for a boycott of the site, it's unlikely Amazon, retail’s worst enemy, will feel the effects. Still, in this climate, how shoppers spend their money is officially politically loaded. Even in the face of all those deals from Prime Day, some are letting Amazon know it cannot continue on in silence.