ColorofChange.org announced today that the nation’s largest retailer Wal-Mart has pulled its ads from Glenn Beck’s Fox News program. Seven other companies joined the retail giant, including Best Buy and CVS have stopped advertising on Beck’s program. This now means that 20 advertisers have left Glenn Beck since he called Obama a racist.
Allergan (maker of Restasis), Ally Bank (a unit of GMAC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadview Security, CVS, Re-Bath, Travelocity and Wal-Mart all announced that they will no longer advertise on Beck’s show.
David Tovar, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart told ColorofChange.org in an email, “Walmart [sic] today confirmed the retailer pulled ads from the Glenn Beck show on August 3rd.” Carolyn Castel, Vice President of Corporate Communications for CVS wrote, “While advertising on Fox is part of our communication plan, we had not requested time on Glenn Beck’s show specifically. We have instructed our advertising agency to inform Fox to ensure Glenn Beck’s program is not part of our advertising plan.”
Amanda Borichevsky, a spokesperson for Travelocity said, “We did not specifically place our ad on the show. We buy ads in bulk and then they are placed somewhat randomly. However, we have now specifically asked that our ads do not appear during this show.” Lisa Svac Hawks, Director of Public Relations for Best Buy said that the ads that were airing on Beck’s show were a mistake, and should not have been airing there.
When Wal-Mart dropped Beck, Fox News developed a serious problem. When the biggest of the big won’t touch a program, it sends a message to other potential advertisers. When you look at the list of all 20 companies that have left Beck, there are many household names there. ConAgra, GEICO, Lawyers.com, Men’s Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, and State Farm Insurance have all previously dropped Beck.
Fox News should still be able to sell time on Beck’s show, but without the biggest advertisers competing, this has to hurt ad revenue. Interestingly, Lawyers.com and a few others who have dropped Beck have had ads showing up on MSNBC lately. This could just be expanded buying, or it could be that some advertisers are moving on. I don’t know how many more advertisers FNC will stand back and let Beck lose before they do something.