Campaigners and members are piling pressure on The Co-operative Group to pull its advertising with the Daily Mail following the paper’s articles on Labour leader Ed Miliband’s father.
Shoppers have left numerous messages on its Facebook sites The Co-operative and The Co-operative Food, as well as on Twitter, calling for action.
“As a Co-operative member I would like to call upon the Co-op Group to cease forthwith all advertising in the Daily Mail and any associated publications,” wrote one member. “We really do not need as a movement to be associated with this evil filth and its fascist heritage.”
Another posted: “Just found out the Co-op advertise in the Daily Mail. WTF?”
The Co-op Group has close ties with the Labour Party. It donated £61,550 to Labour last year and The Co-operative Party - the co-op movement’s political party - works in partnership with Labour.
The society was also one of the first to pull its advertising with the News of the World when the paper became embroiled in the phone-hacking scandal in July 2011. At the time, it said: “The Group is a consumer-owned business which adheres to strong ethical standards. These allegations have been met with revulsion by the vast majority of members who have contacted us.”
And in July this year, it became the first retailer to order lads’ mags to put modesty covers over their raunchy front covers. It delisted Front, Nuts and Zoo last month after their publishers refused the Co-op’s demands.
“The Co-operative Group family of businesses currently advertise in a wide range of national print, broadcast and online publications,” a Co-op spokesman said. “This is in order to promote our products and services and to reach out to as broad a mix of customers and members as possible,” a Co-op spokesman said. “We believe that businesses like ours must avoid letting the editorial policy or editorial decisions of individual newspapers determine commercial relationships.”