16 New Companies Pledge Not to Run Ads on Glenn Beck; Total Reaches Three Dozen
Sprint, Lowe's, Clorox Among Latest To Defect as ColorOfChange.org Members Reach Out Directly to Companies Who Refuse to Pull Ads
August 24, 2009
OAKLAND, Calif.—Facing increased pressure from ColorOfChange.org members, 16 new companies have pledged not to run additional ads on Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck Program. Thirty-six companies have now committed not to support Beck’s show since ColorOfChange.org launched its campaign three weeks ago.
The defections come as ColorOfChange.org members mobilized last week against corporations who still refused to pull their ads from Glenn Beck by placing thousands of phone calls to company executives. By the end of the week, three of these companies – Clorox, Lowe’s and Sprint – had pledged not to run additional ads; Red Lobster and Vonage have not yet responded.
The new companies distancing themselves from Beck include Airware Inc. (makers of Brez anti-snoring aids), Ancestry.com, AT&T, Blaine Labs Inc., Campbell Soup Company, Clorox, Ditech, The Elations Company, Experian (creator of FreeCreditReport.com), Farmers Insurance Group, Johnson & Johnson (makers of Tylenol), Lowe’s, NutriSystem, Sprint, The UPS Store and Verizon Wireless. They join twenty other companies who previously pledged not to run additional ads on Glenn Beck. The moves come after the Fox News Channel host called President Obama a “racist” who “has a deep-seated hatred for white people” during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
Comments from advertisers recently distancing themselves from Beck:
“…Sprint ads appeared as part of a broader rotational package of advertising purchased on the Fox Network,” said Kathleen Dunleavy, a Sprint spokesperson, in an email to ColorOfChange.org. “They were not specifically targeted to the Glenn Beck Show nor should they air during this program going forward.”
"…I wanted to let you know that we have taken steps to make sure that [Sprint] will not be advertising on the Glenn Beck show,” Dunleavy later reiterated in a phone message to ColorOfChange.org.
“While we will continue to advertise on news programming, including FOX News, there are certain programs on the FOX Network that do not meet Lowe's advertising guidelines, including The O’Reilly Factor and Glenn Beck Program,” said Meliski Cox, a spokesperson for Lowe’s, in an email to ColorOfChange.org.
“Per our advertising standards, we don't advertise in programs that display exploitive sex or violence, treat ethnic, religious, or political groups in a disparaging manner, present facts inaccurately or distort them to blatantly partisan advantage, and treat individuals or groups in a demeaning manner”, said Adam Oberweiser, a spokesperson for Clorox, in a phone message to a ColorOfChange.org member. “We have had limited advertisements on the Glenn Beck Program in the past, however the statements he made during that show would not adhere to our programming standards. Furthermore, we will not be advertising on his program in the future since he did violate our own advertising standards.”
"We have addressed the issue,” said Rich Hallibran, a spokesperson for The UPS Store, in a phone message to ColorOfChange.org. “You will not see our ads on The Glenn Beck TV program.”
“We are no longer advertising on Beck’s program,” said Susan McGowan, Senior Director of Public Relations at NutriSystem, Inc., in an email to ColorOfChange.org. “You can now include us with the other companies that have stopped advertising.”
In a phone conversation with ColorOfChange.org, a spokesperson for AT&T, Daryl Evans, said that their company already had Beck’s program on a ‘Do Not Air’ list for their ads, and if an advertisement was seen during ‘Glenn Beck’ it was placed in error. Evans pledged to call Fox News and correct that error.
In a phone conversation with ColorOfChange.org, Marcy Smith, Director of Advertising for Experian Consumer Direct, confirmed that due to the number and frequency of complaints they have received, they have specifically asked Fox News to pull any of their ads from Glenn Beck’s program and distribute their ads to other shows in the rotation.
“We obviously neither condone nor endorse Mr. Beck’s comments,” said Anthony Sanzio, a Campbell Soup Company spokesman, in a phone conversation with ColorOfChange.org. “We were not pleased when we heard them [the comments] and they certainly don’t reflect the views of this company. We have no advertising currently slated for Mr. Beck’s program and don’t have any plans for the future.”
“In light of the consistency of comments that are made, we don’t plan to advertise there in the future,” Sanzio continued. “We have communicated to our media buying agency that we will not be advertising on that show.”
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” said Marc Monseau, Director of Corporate Communications for Johnson & Johnson, in an email to ColorOfChange.org. “These advertisements ran on Glenn Beck as part of a rotational advertising package on Fox News, and I have shared your thoughts with those in our organization responsible for making those rotational buys. We have now informed the network to not include it in our rotation moving forward.”
In a phone conversation with ColorOfChange.org, Jim Gerace, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Verizon Wireless, confirmed that they added Beck’s show to its “Do Not Air” list based on Beck’s controversial track record. “We, on our own, looked at where we’re spending our advertising,” Gerace said. “We made a decision that we don’t want to be advertising on that program for a lot of reasons.”
“We hear your concerns and are no longer advertising on the Glenn Beck show,” said Cindy Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer for Ditech, in a phone message to ColorOfChange.org.
“Ancestry.com buys television advertising on many networks, including Fox News, but does not sponsor any specific content or program,” said Mike Ward, Public Relations Director for Ancestry.com, in an email to ColorOfChange.org. “However, once this issue surfaced, we instructed Fox News to exclude our advertisements from the Glenn Beck program.”
“I wanted to let you know that AirWare Inc., the manufacturer of Brez anti-snoring aids, has instructed its advertising agency to insure that none of our advertisements run on the Glenn Beck show,” said David Green, Director of Public Relations for AirWare, Inc., in an email to ColorOfChange.org. “Because of the way TV advertising is purchased, company executives were not aware in advance that our ads would be running on the show.”
“We have requested that the ads not appear on the Glen [sic] Beck show,” said Dr. Robert Blaine, President and CEO of Blaine Labs, Inc., in an email to ColorOfChange.org. “Our contract is essentially a, ‘fill in where there is empty space’, [sic] and lately, I guess there has been a lot of empty space on the Beck show due to your organization. Our new contract comes up sometime in September and that show will be stricken from the rotation. We do not support [G]lenn [B]eck and do not support his show.”
“What we did last Thursday was our advertising department requested of Fox News Channel that they no longer place a portion of our ads on the Glenn Beck Program [sic],” said a spokesperson for Farmers Insurance Group in a phone message to ColorOfChange.org.
“Just want to let you know that we will no longer be advertising on that [Glenn Beck’s] program,” said David Silver, a spokesperson for The Elations Company.
Last week, ColorOfChange.org began emailing the 150,000+ people who signed their initial petition, asking them to call five major advertisers who continued to refuse to pull their ads: Clorox, Experian (creator of FreeCreditReport.com), Lowe’s, Red Lobster and Vonage. Members utilized background materials prepared by ColorOfChange.org during their calls, and had access to a calling tool that made it easier to report the result of each conversation. Hours after members began making calls, Lowe’s contacted ColorOfChange.org, pledging not to run additional ads on Beck’s programs. Clorox followed suit Thursday, and Experian did the same on Friday.
Previous companies who have corrected advertising errors and/or pulled their ads entirely include Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security, ConAgra, CVS, GEICO, Lawyers.com, Men’s Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Re-Bath, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, State Farm Insurance, Travelocity and Wal-Mart.
With more than 600,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the largest African-American online political organization in the country.
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