Snapchat Tries to Shake Down Gun Control Group with NRA Threat
Sometimes the world of tech news and gun news collides, as in this hilarious story about Snapchat’s attempt to turn a buck by shaking down Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group.
One of Snapchat’s ad salesmen had been pursuing Everytown for a big ad buy, and at some point the editorial arm of the company, without knowing anything about what the ad sales guy was doing, reached out to Everytown and offered to feature the group, entirely for free, for National Gun Violence Awareness Day. So of course Everytown was thrilled because they could avoid doing an ad buy and get the same publicity. That’s when things went sideways:
In mid-May, shortly after Saliterman became aware that another arm of Snapchat was effectively undercutting him on a client he’d been working to secure, he sent an email to Everytown.
“I just learned our News Team is doing a Live Story on National Gun Violence Awareness Day,” Saliterman’s message began. “I would urgently like to speak with you about advertising opportunities within the story, as there will be three ad slots. We are also talking to the NRA about running ads within the story.”
In other words, if the nonprofit partnered with Snapchat’s editorial department instead of paying the six-figure fee to promote its event through Snapchat’s advertising department, it ran the risk of having its gun safety message countered by the NRA, which strongly opposes the reform Everytown promotes.
The story had a happy ending, for the NRA, that is. Everytown ended up not doing anything with Snapchat at all, either an editorial partnership or an ad buy.