Snapchat recently had to lay the hammer down on an anti-gun group after it refused payment and put one Snapchat representative in a bit of an awkward position.
According to Mic, the organization Everytown for Gun Safety reached out to Snapchat in 2016 to inquire about an advertising campaign for its #WearOrange event, which is held on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Rob Saliterman, Snapchat’s head of political sales, responded to their request with a $150,000 quote that would allow Snapchat users to participate in the event through the app using filters and lenses made specifically for that event.
Little did Saliterman know, however, that Snapchat’s news team had already stuck its finger in the pot and offered to feature Everytown’s event free of charge.
When Saliterman learned this, he sent Everytown an email saying, “I just learned our News Team is doing a Live Story on National Gun Violence Awareness Day; 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 anti-gun organization didn’t pay the advertising costs to promote its event, they ran the risk of having their anti-gun message countered by the NRA, who would be more than happy to put their name on a story about guns.
Everytown replied, saying it could not afford the advertising rate, so Saliterman explained the possibility that the NRA could advertise within Snapchats Live Story.
“That’s really unfortunate news on your budget, as Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. on a daily basis, and I don’t believe there’s a more efficient way to reach that audience,” Saliterman said in his final email to the charity.
“To be clear, the story has the potential to be bought by any advertiser, including the NRA, which will enable the advertiser to run three 10-sec video ads within the story. This is analogous to how any advertiser could buy advertising in a TV news program about violence. The advertising will not impact the editorial content within the story as our teams are independent.”
At the end of it all, Everytown backed out of both Snapchat’s free editorial partnership and paid advertising services.