If Fox News and Glenn Beck were wondering how far he could take his radical right wing routine, they got their answer as three major advertisers have deserted Beck’s program after he called President Obama a racist. Progressive Insurance, Procter & Gamble, and Lawyers.com have all dropped Beck. Since the TV business runs on ad money, will this impact Beck’s show?
ChangeofColor.org put out a statement announcing that three companies had pulled their advertising. Two of the companies, P&G and Progressive claimed that their ads shouldn’t have been airing on Beck’s show in the first place. “No P&G ads should have appeared on this program in the first place,” said Martha Depenbrock, Brand Building Stakeholder Relations for Procter & Gamble.”To be clear, if any of our advertising appeared on the Glenn Beck show, it was in error and we appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. We will do what we can to see that it doesn’t happen again.”
Progressive also said that their ads should not have been running during Beck’s show, “Our (advertising) order specifies no Glenn Beck We have confirmed with the network that our spots should not be running there,” said Linda J. Harris, Media Director at Progressive Insurance. This brings up an interesting point that many companies buy airtime and don’t follow up to make sure that the ads are being run in the contracted slots.
It should be pointed out that these companies are still advertising on FNC, but they don’t want anything to do with Glenn Beck’s program. Beck has one of the highest rated shows on cable news, but advertisers have to weigh the advantage of reaching his audience against the far right wing message his show carries.
The idea to people get advertisers to move away from Beck’s program was something that I first heard from Donny Deutsch on MSNBC, who made it clear that he didn’t think it was a good idea to try to get advertisers not to buy time on FNC, but it would be more effective to get them to shift their dollars away from Beck.
Beck’s conspiracy theories, race baiting, and controversy is not something that is attractive to many major corporations because they don’t need the bad PR, and headaches that can come with Beck going off the deep end. One of the fastest ways to lose advertisers is to engage in race based politics, which is what Beck did when he called Obama a racist.
I don’t think that this will change the way Beck does his show, because 2 million viewers a night is a powerful sign of success, but if he continues to engage in race baiting, there will be fallout, and he will lose advertisers. There is a line that Beck crossed when he labeled President Obama a racist, and advertisers will flee when race is brought up.