Sticker Mule, Vivobarefoot cave to pressure, cancel Russell Brand sponsorships amid unproven allegations

"Of 10 companies that have sponsored Brand contacted by NBC News," NBC News writes, "two, Sticker Mule and Vivobarefoot...said they were suspending work with" Brand.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Two sponsors of Russell Brand's YouTube show have reportedly backed out after allegations of sexual assault from years' past have swirled around the comedian. This comes after YouTube demonetized Brand's channel, meaning he can no longer generate income from ads shown on the platform. 

In the wake of that demonetization, NBC reached out to Brand's sponsors and asked them if they would continue to advertise alongside Brand's content. NBC discovered that, upon asking, two companies said they would back out of that relationship.

"Of 10 companies that have sponsored Brand contacted by NBC News," NBC News writes, "two, Sticker Mule and Vivobarefoot...said they were suspending work with the personality."

Both Sticker Mule and Vivobarefoot have announced their intention to suspend work with Brand after four women came forward, at the urging of British news outlet The Times, and accused him of sexual misconduct. 

Sticker Mule said it was "suspending their relationship with Russell Brand pending further information," and Vivobarefoot, which had sponsored over the summer "before any of the recent allegations were raised," said that any remaining sponsor activity with Brand "has been stopped."

Another company, Black Forest Supplements, took the stance that Brand is innocent until proven guilty and would not change its current relationship with Brand over media-peddled accusations.

CEO Antonio Colmenares said "we believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty. Additionally, we know that Russell speaks out against Big Pharma, FDA, Media and the War in Ukraine. So he definitely has some powerful enemies."

NBC contacted 7 other companies, including Manscaped and ExpressVPN, neither of whom responded to NBC's request for information on their marketing plans. NBC found that Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, also didn't reply to their request for comment, and TikTok didn't comment publicly.

The accusations against Brand were brought by four women contacted by The Times, each of whom said they had not intended to bring forward the allegations until contacted by the outlet. Further, the four said that they had an interest in speaking out now because Brand had achieved popularity and success in his latest ventures.

At least three of the women were in ongoing relationships with Brand. While one woman stated that she was raped in Brand's home when she arrived for the purpose of a sexual encounter, two were girlfriends who claimed he was controlling and manipulative. The women remained anonymous except for one ex-girlfriend.

Actress Rose McGowan, who had leveled accusations against former Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, spoke out against the anonymous allegations, saying that accusers must stand behind their accusations. 

After the scathing report, the British Parliament sent its own letter of pressure to the platforms on which Brand broadcasts. Parliament sought to pressure both Rumble and TikTok to oust Brand.

"I am writing concerning the serious allegations regarding Russell Brand, in the context as a user of TikTok with more than 2.2 million followers on the platform," the letter from Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage began.

Dinenage further expressed to TikTok and Rumble that "The Culture, Media and Sport [Committee] is raising questions with the broadcasters who previously employed Mr. Brand or production companies who employed him, to examine both the culture of the industry in the past and whether that culture still prevails today."

They urged these platforms to make sure Brand could earn no profit from his work. In a statement, Rumble called the letter "extremely disturbing," adding that "while Rumble obviously deplores sexual assault, rape, and all serious crimes, and believes that both alleged victims and the accused are entitled to a full and serious investigation, it is vital to note that recent allegations against Russell Brand have nothing to do with content on Rumble’s platform."

YouTube had previously censored Brand for what they termed "misinformation," and both The Telegraph and The Independent sought to smear Brand as a "conspiracy theorist." The Telegraph said that he has gone from "stardom to peddling YouTube conspiracy theories." Brand has also spoken out against the war in Ukraine.
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