More sponsors yank ads from Limbaugh
Some 30-plus have withdrawn support from the radio talker's show
March 7, 2012
More than 30 companies have pulled their ads off his program, including more than 20 yesterday alone, as the fallout continues over Limbaugh’s comments last week about a Georgetown University law student, whom he called a slut and a prostitute for discussing contraception in front of a Congressional committee.
And the advertiser exodus probably is not done.
Sentiment in the media community is clearly against Limbaugh, as a poll taken yesterday by Media Life found, and many buyers are advising their clients to sever ties to the radioactive talk show host.
Brands who have remained with Limbaugh are seeing big push back on social media networks, where liberal and women’s groups have organized campaigns against the show, targeting advertisers through Facebook and Twitter.
The controversy doesn’t look like it will die down anytime soon.
Yesterday a second radio station, WBEC in Pittsfield, Mass., said that it is dropping Limbaugh’s program, a day after a station in Hawaii became the first to cancel the show.
Yesterday’s advertising defections included several recognizable names. Netflix, which claimed it had asked its media agency not to run its ads on the Limbaugh program in the past, said that several of its ads had actually appeared on the program. It has now ordered its agency not to let it happen again.
Capital One similarly said it usually does not run ads on Limbaugh but one had aired inadvertently on a Limbaugh web page. The financial company said it will boycott Limbaugh entirely going forward.
Other advertisers pulling their support included John Deere and AccuQuote.
Premiere Networks, the Clear Channel subsidiary that syndicates Limbaugh’s program, is urging media buyers to consider moving their clients’ ad dollars from Limbaugh’s show to another one of its programs so that it does not have to offer refunds, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Whether that strategy will work remains to be seen. Many have criticized Premiere for jumping too quickly to Limbaugh’s defense when the controversy began.
The syndicator merely said it respected Limbaugh’s right to his own opinion in a debate that inflamed so many people’s passions.
But with media people so disgusted with Limbaugh’s behavior, they may not want their clients to continue to support Premiere, which seems to be enabling the host’s continued claims that he was merely stooping to his critics’ level when he used the words slut and prostitute.
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