July 19, 2024
Advertising Cartel Targeted Joe Rogan over Views on COVID-19 Jab, Congressional Probe Finds

Advertising Cartel Targeted Joe Rogan over Views on COVID-19 Jab, Congressional Probe Finds

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The House Judiciary Committee released a report Wednesday, which found that an advertising cartel known as the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, or GARM, targeted popular podcaster Joe Rogan over his views on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Created by the World Federation of Advertisers—which represents roughly 90% of global advertising spending—GARM says its function is to unite marketers and media agencies to “safeguard the potential of digital media by reducing the availability and monetization of harmful content online.”

But in reality, GARM’s function is to bully media companies into removing politically inconvenient content, according to the Judiciary report.

“GARM appears to have anti-democratic views of fundamental American freedoms. In discussing his views on freedom of speech, GARM’s leader and co-founder, Rob Rakowitz, has expressed frustration with an ‘extreme global interpretation of the US Constitution’ and complained about using ‘principles for governance and applying them as literal law from 230 years ago (made by white men exclusively),’” the report noted.

The report provided several examples of GARM’s censorship efforts, perhaps the most prominent example being that of Rogan. According to the report, GARM tried to drive advertisers away from Rogan due to his pro-choice vaccine views.

“GARM pressured Spotify to punish Mr. Rogan by applying GARM’s standards on Mr. Rogan’s content,” the report stated.

“In late-January 2022, Spotify met with Joe Barone, Managing Partner Brand Safety Americas, of GroupM, a Steer Team member, to discuss so-called misinformation on Spotify,” the report said, notiting that GroupM is the world’s largest media buying agency.

Even though GroupM didn’t buy ads on the Joe Rogan Experience, the organization still pressured to punish the podcaster, according to the Judiciary report.

“GARM includes every major advertising agency holding company in its ranks and includes the world’s largest media buying agency, GroupM, on its Steer Team,” the report said.

Rogan, of course, survived the coordinated onslaught and today still has one of the world’s most popular shows. Nevertheless, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing about the matter on Wednesday, ostensibly to discuss whether anti-trust laws should be strengthened to prevent advertisers from forming cartels.

The hearing can be watched here.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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