Laura Ingraham’s ratings are surging, but advertising revenues for her show on Fox News are not.
Several months after a series of boycotts by activists scared off many top national advertisers, big companies are still steering clear of her show. As a result, her show can attract only ‘bottom feeder’ ads from second and third tier companies.
“Months after big boycotts, big advertisers are still shunning Laura Ingraham’s @FoxNews show.”
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) October 16, 2018
Ingraham infuriated and alienated millions of gun-control advocates in March when she mocked Parkland, Florida shooting survivor and activist David Hogg. In a series of cheap shots at a 17 year-old boy, Ingraham on her show made nasty comments about Hogg getting rejected from a handful of colleges.
After Ingraham did this Hogg asked his followers on social media to begin to boycott companies until they stopped advertising on Ingraham’s show. Hogg, along with other Parkland survivors such as Emma Gonzalez, have millions of followers on Twitter and they used that platform to launch their effective boycott.
The resulting outcry led to many major companies dropping her show. Hogg renewed his call for an Ingraham boycott in June after she compared detention facilities where immigrant children were being held to “summer camps.”
The incarceration of children separated from their parents as they entered the United States without proper documentation has caused global outrage at the Trump administration. Ingraham has continued to support the separation policy which has been called ‘a crime against humanity.”
Typically when there is a controversy, advertisers will leave a program temporarily. So what is going on with Ingraham is very unusual. She is suffering a long-term loss of advertising revenue. The large, nationally recognized brands now want nothing to do with “The Ingraham Angle” which has become radioactive among advertisers.
This result proves the newfound power of activist-led boycotts, and it show that major corporations have deep concerns about offending would-be consumers. This is a phenomenon arising from the highly politicized social environment created by Donald Trump and his brand of divisive politics.
Early this year, Ingraham’s show averaged 15 minutes of advertisements per hour, the same as her Fox News primetime counterparts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, according to an analysis for POLITICO.
That number fell to slightly less than ten minutes per hour after the boycott campaign, and it still hasn’t recovered. Last month, “The Ingraham Angle” averaged just 10 minutes and 50 seconds of ads per hour, according to POLITICO.
Even more significant is the fact that Ingraham’s show no longer attracts top national advertisers. Before the boycotts her advertisers included Geico, Arby’s, Liberty Mutual and Humira. Last month, though, that distinction belonged to lower-profile brands: HomeToGo.com, Sandals Resorts, ClearChoice Dental Implants and Nutrisystem.
“That boycott held firm, regardless of the fact that audience ratings are increasing,” Swollen said. “There are still a number of advertisers that don’t want to be associated with the program.”
“Brands are skittish about alienating potential customers,” he said.
Before the boycott, 229 brands advertised on “The Ingraham Angle,” according to POLITICO. In the month following, it was 71 and, as of last month, it was 85.
Laura Ingraham has found that her particular brand of controversy and divisiveness is not paying off for her any longer.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.