NEW YORK Some of the nation's biggest advertisers are distancing themselves from Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck after he called President Obama a racist during a July 28 broadcast.
Geico said yesterday that it has pulled its ads from FNC's The Glenn Beck Program. Lawyers.com, which is owned by LexisNexis, has also vowed not to advertise during the show, per Color of Change. The African-American online political organization has been spurring advertisers to stop supporting the show.
Additionally, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance and SC Johnson all said their ad placements during the broadcast were made in error and that they would be correcting the mistake moving forward, per Color of Change.
The controversy stemmed from Beck's comment that President Obama is a "racist" with a "hatred for white people."
Geico spent more than $500 million on ads last year, per Nielsen. It spent $250 million-plus during the first half of 2009.
A Fox rep confirmed that Geico is dropping its ads from the show, but was quick to note that the marketer was shifting its dollars to other programs. "The advertisers referenced have all moved their spots from Beck to other programs on the network, so there has been no revenue lost," said the rep.
Geico issued a statement to Color of Change that read: "On Tuesday Aug. 4, Geico instructed its ad buying service to redistribute its inventory of rotational spots on Fox-TV to their other network programs, exclusive of the Glenn Beck Program."
Progressive Insurance rep Cristy Cote said that there has been a lot of confusion surrounding its involvement with the show. "We had not bought advertising on the show in the first place, so when we learned that our advertising had appeared on the show by mistake, we contacted the network to correct the error."
She said Progressive tries to "avoid programming that we believe our customers and potential customers might find extremely offensive."
A P&G rep echoed that sentiment: "At times our ads are run by mistake on shows that they were not meant to...Any of our ads that ran did so by mistake and we try to make sure that doesn't happen in the future."
Nielsen Business Media