Amid continued scandals at Fox News and a revelation that the network had paid out $13 million to sexual harassment victims of Bill O’Reilly’s since 2004, advertisers everywhere are pulling their ad buys from the show in fear of being viewed as anti-woman.
The list of advertisers jumping ship began on Monday with Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and BMW of North America, but it has now snowballed into more than 21 companies including Orkin, Allstate, Esurance, Bayer, T. Rowe Price, GlaxoSmithKline, and many others.
Twitter Account Sleeping Giants is keeping track of each company that pulls out of the “O’Reilly Factor.”
Mercedes-Benz made their reason for pulling the ads clear, saying that the allegations that have stacked up against O’Reilly were “disturbing.” Hyundai issued a similar statement, saying they would be pulling future ad buys until they could evaluate the climate.
Once a few major names began pulling out, it was clear that those who chose to remain or try and stay “neutral” would be viewed negatively. This led to the flurry of advertisers pulling their ads, a flurry that continues today.
Paul Rittenberg, the executive vice president of advertising sales at Fox News issued a statement on Tuesday addressing the advertiser abandon-ship, saying that Fox was working with the withdrawn advertisers to “address their current concerns.”
This shift in advertisers concerning O’Reilly may be the death knell for the long-time Fox host who clearly was not anywhere close to being booted by his network. Can a dearth of advertisers finally serve as the straw to break the camel’s back and send O’Reilly off to conservative radio or punching ringside along Alex Jones?
While the advertisers’ decision to pull out of O’Reilly Factor is commendable to some degree, it raises the question about why it took this much scandal to force them to stop financially contributing to O’Reilly. We long knew that he was a predator following in the footsteps of Roger Ailes.
Why do they pay to have their ads show on Fox at all? What about the Ailes ouster? What about the continues cases of sexual harassment lodged at remaining executives?
The boycott of O’Reilly is good, but it’s late, and it’s far too limited.