President Donald Trump’s disdain for the media has particularly been focused on CNN, and yesterday, the network responded to his attacks with a new ad campaign.
“This is an apple,” the ad begins. “Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana. They might scream ‘banana, banana, banana’ over and over again. They might put BANANA in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it’s not. This is an apple.” The new branding campaign gives the network a new slogan: “Facts First.”
“CNN has never been more relevant than we are now,” Allison Gollust, CNN Worldwide’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, told reporters. “There’s a conversation happening around journalism and media and the First Amendment,” she says. “It’s happening right now. We felt compelled to participate in that conversation with a brand campaign that reminds people who we are and what we do and why we do it.”
In a memo to staff, CNN chief Jeff Zucker urged that they push the campaign on social media and “keep in mind the spirit of its message in your work every day.” He continues:
In recent months, I’ve been approached by many of you suggesting that we do a marketing campaign for CNN. While significant research shows that our brand, despite consistent attacks from Washington and beyond, has never been stronger, we heard you and we agree. In fact, CNN has never been more relevant, and the institution of journalism has never been more important to the national conversation. As a result, we think there is no better time to take a clear stand for who we are and what we believe in. So today we are launching Facts First.
CNN’s ad campaign is just the latest to hit back at the president for his repeated attempts to delegitimize the free press. A New York Times ad campaign, for instance, declared “the truth is alternative facts are lies,” in a jab at a now-infamous comment made by presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway. Additionally, The Washington Post, another frequent target, recently changed its slogan to “Democracy dies in darkness.”