Advertisers Pull Ads From Unrepentant Rush Limbaugh
A Half-Dozen Pull Ads After Outcry ... And Others May Join Boycott
March 3, 2012 at 12:07 AM (PT)
By the time the clock was about to hit midnight on FRIDAY, MARCH 2nd, a half-dozen advertisers had used TWITTER to notify their clientele that they had pulled their advertising from RUSH LIMBAUGH's syndicated program.
CALIFORNIA mattress store chain SLEEP TRAIN was the first to announce via TWITTER that it has pulled its ads from LIMBAUGH's syndicated PREMIERE NETWORKS show after the host referred to a college student testifying about contraceptive availability as a "slut," then demanded that women on the pill provide sex videos since the government mandates insurance pays for the pill -- comments LIMBAUGH asserted were made as a form of absurd humor.
The chain, which operates in the SACRAMENTO, SAN FRANCISCO, SAN DIEGO, CENTRAL VALLEY and INLAND EMPIRE markets, tweeted, "We don't condone negative comments directed toward any group. In response, we are currently pulling our ads from RUSH with RUSH LIMBAUGH (sic)."
National advertiser SELECT COMFORT, which advertises its SLEEP NUMBER mattresses on the show, also pulled its ads from the show, tweeting, "Recent comments by RUSH LIMBAUGH do not align w/our values, so we made decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program." Neither company's tweets indicate for how long the suspension of ads will last.
Later in the day, QUICKEN LOANS sent out the following Tweet: Due to continued inflammatory comments -- along w/valuable feedback from clients & team members -- QL has suspended ads on RUSH LIMBAUGH program."
Apparently, LIMBAUGH only fueled the controversy over his comments about activist law student SANDRA FLUKE and her attempts to testify before Congress in favor of government-funded contraception, saying on FRIDAY, "when the left wants to pretend they have no sense of humor, they are excellent at it. Yesterday in the riff about it, 'Okay, okay, fine. If we're gonna pay for this, at least let us have something for it. How about some sex videos?' If anybody doesn't realize that we are illustrating absurdity here by being absurd and that that is the trademark of this program ... But oh, no! 'Oh, of everything else you've said, that's the lowest of the low. Demanding sex video? Who do you think you are?' Lighten up. I remember using that phrase all the way back in 1989: Lighten up."
He later added, "now, at the end of this week, I am the person that the women of AMERICA are to fear the most. What can I do to the women of AMERICA? Do I have the power to raise their taxes? I do not. Do I have the power to regulate their behavior? I do not. Do I have the power to make health care decisions for them? I do not. Do I have the power to withhold birth control pills from them? I do not. Do I have the power to audit their tax returns? I do not. Do I have the power to take their little four-year-old kindergarten student's lunch and throw it away and make 'em eat something else? I do not. Do I have the power to look into their personal life and leak the information to the media? I do not. Is there one bit of freedom that I can deny them? Can I raise their taxes? They want to blame me as being the person they should fear, when in fact the people doing all these things I just said I have no power to do, the DEMOCRAT PARTY (sic) is doing."
Once The Dominoes Start Falling....
LIMBAUGH'S rant certainly didn't quell the furor, as LEGALZOOM then tweeted that it "has suspended all advertising on the RUSH LIMBAUGH show."
Next to be heard was CITRIX, which went on FACEBOOK to announce, "We have listened to our customers & have decided to cease our advertising on The RUSH LIMBAUGH Show immediately."
But that may not be all, as PRO FLOWERS tweeted to its followers: "Rest assured, your feedback is heard. We heard about the comments and we will reevaluate our marketing plan."
What's more, CARBONITE CEO DAVID FRIEND posted this open letter to his customers:
Over the past two days we have received a tremendous amount of feedback on RUSH LIMBAUGH’s recent comments. I too am offended and very concerned about his comments. LIMBAUGH’s remarks have us rethinking our future use of Talk radio.
We use more than 40 Talk show hosts to help get the CARBONITE message out to the public. The nature of Talk radio is that from time to time, listeners are offended by a host and ask that we pull our advertising. This goes for conservatives like LIMBAUGH and progressives like STEPHANIE MILLER and ED SHULTZ. We even get customers who demand that we pull the plug on NPR. As an advertiser, we do not have control over a show’s editorial content or what they say on air. CARBONITE does not endorse the opinions of the shows or their hosts.
However, the outcry over LIMBAUGH is the worst we’ve ever seen. I have scheduled a face-to-face meeting next week with LIMBAUGH during which I will impress upon him that his comments were offensive to many of our customers and employees alike.
Please know your voice has been heard and that we are taking this matter very seriously.