Countryside Alliance spokeswoman Charlotte Cooper claimed the sales team at Immediate initially contacted the organisation asking if they wanted to take space in the Countryfile Christmas Gift Guide, to appear in the next issue.
She explained: “We said that we would and sent over the copy. Then a little later they came back to our advertising team and said ‘sorry, this has been pushed upstairs for vetting and they have said there is no way we can accept this ad because you are a political campaign group’.”
However, the Countryside Alliance claims it is being victimised, pointing out that other advertisers being given space in the magazine included the online country sports retailer Fur, Feather & Fin and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, which has campaigned against the Severn Barrage and “fracking”.
Countryside Alliance executive chairman Barney White-Spunner said: “This is another insult from the BBC urban elite to the 11 million licence payers who live in the countryside.”
Countryfile is the spin-off magazine for the Sunday night BBC One programme that deals with country issues, farming and outdoor pursuits. The BBC was not available for comment.
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