One week ago, big brands started blocking their ads from “free speech” video site Rumble — so we told other brands exactly how to do the same.
It was super effective.
Let’s get you all caught up.
First, some context: Rumble bills itself as a “free speech alternative” to YouTube. In practice this means it does things like actively court podcast host Joe Rogan while he was under fire for using the n-word, and dole out a multi-million dollar deal to accused sex trafficker Andrew Tate. It makes an effort to monetize the unmonetizable. Last time we checked, “free speech” doesn’t mean “free money.”
That makes things a bit tricky for Rumble: Most brands don't want their ads popping up before content from users like Russell Brand, who multiple women and girls just accused of sexual assault.
But Rumble offers all that risk to advertisers and more. That’s why it’s been a very bad week for Rumble, and a much better one for advertisers hoping to protect their brands.
1) Multiple brands have stopped running ads on Rumble
Facing multiple allegations of sexual assault — and two UK police investigations — Brand isn’t the kind of creator most advertisers want to be associated with. But Rumble is ignoring calls to demonetize his channel. That choice is sending advertisers running. Big-name brands have removed their ads from the platform since the allegations broke, including:
2) An ad exchange severed ties with Rumble
When Check My Ads’ Nandini Jammi let the brand Ruggable know their ads were being served on Rumble, she tagged their ad exchange: StackAdapt.
Rather than wait for Ruggable to complain about their brand showing up and funding a platform that features toxic figures like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, StackAdapt stepped in and removed Rumble from their platform inventory. We love to see it.
3) Rumble ran even more toxic content
In the week since we first told advertisers how to protect their brands from the toxic content on Rumble, the platform continued to show everyone just how brand unsafe it is.
It kept publishing Russell Brand’s content — 12 videos in the last week alone. Videos from the QAnon channel “Badlands Media” were all over the leaderboard, which shows the most-viewed content on the platform.
White supremacist Nick Fuentes also published thirteen videos in the week since we told advertisers how to remove their ads from Rumble. One of those videos was Fuentes’ live reaction to Elon Musk’s X Space with multiple prominent Jewish figures. As part of that live video, Fuentes made a list of the Jewish participants for his far-right followers, who commented things like “bro this makes me dislike Jews so much more.”
Rumble is not and never will be brand safe — that's its entire business model. But with Rumble deeply embedded in the advertising ecosystem — thanks in part to Google Ads — it can be hard to block from your campaigns.
But it’s not impossible.
Here’s how you can keep your brand far, far away from Rumble’s toxic content.