Advertising agencies mounting a prolonged boycott of GB News are damaging its business, its chief executive has admitted, as he claimed the action represents a threat to free speech.

Angelos Frangopoulos said public debate was at risk because the channel was being put under “commercial pressure” to change its content a year after its launch.

He said: “Commercially, this is a very serious matter. This does cause damage to the GB News business model, there is no two ways about it. And that is something that the advertising industry itself needs to acknowledge.”

Mr Frangopoulos, the former chief executive of Sky News Australia, said advertising buyers had opted to keep GB News on their blacklists despite the channel remaining in-step with Britain’s broadcasting rules.

“Being part of a regulated environment should give an advertiser and a brand confidence that a broadcaster is meeting the legal requirements around impartiality,” he added.

Read more: Ad boycott is undermining GB News and free speech, says boss

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