Twelve companies have pulled their advertisements from the Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck Show since ColorOfChange.org protested his calling President Barack Obama a racist.
The companies responded swiftly to ColorOfChange.org’s online campaign, which asked sponsors of Mr. Beck’s talk show to pull the plug on his race-laced rhetoric.
ColorOfChange.org received confirmation from ConAgra (which makes Healthy Choice products), Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and RadioShack, that the firms would pull their ads from the show.The Men’s Wearhouse, State Farm and Sargento cheese have already pulled their ads. LexisNexis-owned Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, SC Johnson and GEICO dumped the Beck show almost immediately after news broke that he labeled the president a racist who “has a deep-seated hatred for White people.”
“Clearly there are a lot of Black folks here, but most White folks find this problematic and offensive and I think what it communicates to Beck and to Fox News is that there will be a business price for supporting and providing a platform for someone like Beck to do what he’s doing, and I think that’s important,” said James Rucker, co-founder of ColorOfChange.org.
According to Mr. Rucker, most of the advertisers, like Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, and Progressive Insurance, said it was a mistake that their ads ran in the first place and they have no plans to advertise on the show.For the most part, all of the companies said indefinitely, but they could come back if Mr. Beck cleaned up his act, so ColorOfChange.org sought and received stronger statements about ads being pulled from the show.
ColorOfChange.org August 13, released the following statements from several advertisers:
“… Upon review of this particular program, we have discontinued our advertising for all ConAgra Foods products during its airing,” said Stephanie Childs, spokesperson for ConAgra Foods.“We share your commitment to diversity in all areas of life and appreciate your sharing your concerns with us.”
“This confirms that there is no advertising we (RadioShack) (are) buying on the Glenn Beck Show or anywhere on the Fox News Channel,” said Dave Hamlin, director of media services for RadioShack.
Mr. Hamlin explained that a product called magicJack has tagged its name to RadioShack throughout their commercial as a retail destination, but the company has asked the manufacturer to immediately cease and desist running all commercials with its name on Fox News Channel.
But a Fox News spokesperson, who requested that her name be withheld, told The Final Call, “The advertisers referenced have all moved their spots from Beck to other programs on the network so there’s been no revenue lost.”
So far more than 125,000 people have signed the ColorOf Change online petition that is still being presented to the executives of companies that advertise during the show.Some companies that have not responded are UPS, UPS Store, Orbitz online travel booking, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.Still, Mr. Rucker believes the response by the companies who have cancelled their ads sends a powerful message to Blacks and others about the ability to stand up to people like Mr. Beck and assert consequences for statements or actions.
“Any advertisers that care about the American consumer shouldn’t want themselves associated with someone like Beck who is calling the president a racist and saying he has a deep seated hatred for White people, so we will see how many people will actually pull their support,” Mr. Rucker said.