Illustration by Max Fleishman

Snapchat to gun safety group: Buy ads or we’ll sell them to the NRA

Leaked emails shed light on the forceful sales tactic.


Nidia Cavazos

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Posted on Mar 1, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 10:06 pm CDT

Snapchat told a gun safety group that if it didn’t buy each of the ad slots available within a string of clips, its greatest opponent, the National Riffle Association (NRA), would.

In a series of emails from 2016 leaked and published by Mic on Wednesday, Snapchat’s political sales head Rob Saliterman used this threat tactic to push Everytown for Gun Safety into buying ads. Everytown was planning on featuring a string of videos calling for gun reform, including clips featuring gun violence survivors. 

But Snapchat’s editorial division, which operates independently from sales, forged a partnership with Everytown to run free editorial content on . When Saliterman found out that he was getting left out of a deal because of another department within his own employer, he acted fast.

“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,” he wrote.

An Everytown representative ultimately rejected Saliterman’s $150,000 price for the ads, though Everytown later contributed videos to Snapchat’s live story, “Guns in America.”

Everytown has been in a heated battle with the NRA since it was founded in 2014. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg economically backs the group.

H/T Mic

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*First Published: Mar 1, 2017, 7:50 pm CST