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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said he expects to lose $65 million in pillow revenue this year following retailer boycotts over his claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
Those losses, Lindell told Insider in an interview Monday after being served with a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems seeking $1.3 billion in damages, is evidence that he isn’t pushing election fraud claims for the money.
“I lost 20 retailers, and it’s cost me $65 million this year that I won’t get back, OK?” Lindell told Insider. “There’s your story. Print it right. Don’t try and twist this.”
The 121-page lawsuit alleges the pillow mogul used conspiracy theories about the election to turbocharge sales for his company, using conspiratorial phrases as discount codes and placing expensive advertisements with like-minded media outlets.
“Lindell — a talented salesman and former professional card counter — sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” Tom Clare, the defamation attorney representing Dominion Voting Systems, wrote in the lawsuit.
Dominion says Lindell used election conspiracy theories as a way to sell more pillows
Lindell has been an ardent supporter of former President Donald Trump for years. A former crack addict and professional gambler, he credits his company’s success to his aggressive advertising strategy, which pushed MyPillow’s revenue to over $300 million in 2019.
According to Dominion’s lawsuit, that advertising strategy involves intertwining his personal brand and that of his company into right-wing media to juice sales.
MyPillow has spent tens of millions of dollars advertising on pro-Trump media outlets like Fox News and Newsmax — both also targets of litigation over election falsehoods. After Donald Trump lost the election in November, Lindell falsely claimed Dominion rigged the election. MyPillow sponsored a “March for Trump” tour (which was actually a bus) where Lindell spoke at rallies claiming the election was stolen.
Dominion alleges in the lawsuit that the conspiracy theories are a platform for Lindell to sell more pillows.
“After hitting the jackpot with Donald Trump’s endorsement for MyPillow and after a million-dollar bet on Fox News ads had paid out handsome returns, Michael Lindell exploited another chance to boost sales: marketing MyPillow to people who would tune in and attend rallies to hear Lindell tell the ‘Big Lie’ that Dominion had stolen the 2020 election,” Clare wrote.
Lindell told Insider that MyPillow’s advertising strategy is distinct from his personal politics. He said MyPillow has advertising and sponsorship deals with the likes of CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times — all outlets he isn’t a fan of — as well as around 5,000 podcasts and radio and TV stations.
“I advertise everywhere. And every spot either breaks even or makes money,” he said.
Lindell dismissed the notion that he had some “preconceived plan” to make money by claiming Dominion and Smartmatic, a rival election technology company also implicated in conspiracy theories, rigged the presidential election. He said that the retailer boycott from brands like Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond has cost him tens of …read more
Source:: Business Insider