ITV feels heat over Kindle deal
Campaigners target Downton Abbey over Amazon sponsorship
'Downton Abbey - sponsored by Amazon Kindle' *TWITTER EXPLODES* tweeted Joe Pickering at 9:03 minutes last night, three minutes into the new series of Downton Abbey.
The hit ITV series became the subject of an online protest last night over the its new sponsorship deal which saw thousands of campaigners hijack #downton and the Downton facebook page.
Campaigners aimed to highlight the low wages and tax avoidance of web giant Amazon, who have come under increasing scrutiny over their business practices over the past year.
A statement released by campaign group Amazon Anonymous before the event read, "A programme about social inequality is being sponsored by a company that creates inequality. By paying their C.E.O. millions whilst treating their warehouse workers terribly, by avoiding paying their fare share of tax, and by driving independent businesses out of business Amazon are taking us back to the 1920s.”
or as Ethical Consumer put it:
Bex Hay of Amazon Anonymous told Ethical Consumer this morning, "There are ironic similarities between the two - a tv show about social inequality is being sponsored by a company that creates inequality. It seems inappropriate that a company can spend millions on 'prime' tv advertising but yet doesn't pay its workers enough to meet the basic costs of living."
We asked ITV what it is about the Amazon brand that made it a good brand match for Downton? But they have so far failed to comment.
The irony of Amazon, who are becoming as famous for their poverty wages and tax avoidance as there customer service, sponsoring a show where the class system is the central theme wasn't lost on the twittersphere.
The Downton Abbey DVD box set on the Amazon website was also targeted with campaigners posting a host of negative reviews (pictured below).
In regard to the action itself Bex said, "It certainly kindled a strong reaction from the public! Over 2,000 people took to Twitter, Facebook and the online review page on Amazon's own website to demonstrate their anger about ITV's poor choice of sponsor. Hundreds of thousands of Downton Abbey fans saw that while times and conditions are changing for the workers at Downton Abbey in 1924, that message isn't being heard by their new sponsor Amazon - who is still paying poverty wages in 2014."
And what now for Amazon Anonymous? "We've also got some big plans coming up as the Christmas rush starts - where Amazon will be taking on tens of thousands of temporary, under-paid staff. And we've got a big chance to promote the better, convenient alternatives to doing your Christmas shopping at Amazon."
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