Mercedes-Benz has pulled advertising from The O’Reilly Factor following news over the weekend that O’Reilly and Fox News have paid out $13 million dollars to five women who’d accused O’Reilly of harassment.
“Yes, we had advertising running on The O’Reilly Factor (we run on most major cable news shows) and it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy,” Donna Boland, corporate communications manager at Mercedes-Benz, told CNN. “The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
More: Hyundai has also pulled out of advertising on the Fox News show: “We had upcoming spots on the show but are reallocating them due to the recent and disturbing allegations,” the company says in a statement.
More, More: BMW becomes the third advertiser to pulls ads from the show: “In light of the recent New York Times investigation, BMW of North America has suspended its advertising with ‘The O’Reilly Factor,'” the company states.
We asked some industry insiders who give three possible reasons why all of the advertisers so far are car companies. 1) They are all part of a competitive industry. 2) Their media buying agencies may have advocated for such a position. 3) If there is to be a viewer boycott (O’Reilly fans banding together), it would mean a boycott of a major purchase (a $50,000 BMW) vs. an everyday purchase of a consumer packaged good, or a visit to a retailer or restaurant.
New: The New York Times now reports there are now 8 companies that have pulled advertising from O’Reilly’s show. The new marketers include GlaxoSmithKline, Allstate, Constant Contact, Untuckit and Sanofi Consumer HealthCare.
Allstate’s statement: “Inclusivity and support for women are important Allstate values.”
New: T. Rowe Price, Mitsubishi, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Wayfair and Lexus bring the number of advertisers to 13. And add esurance, Bayer, TrueCar, The Wonderful Company (Pom), and Orkin.
More: The National Organization for Women is calling on Fox News to fire O’Reilly, who just recently extended his contract with the network.
The culture of sexual harassment at Fox News must stop. The National Organization for Women (NOW) calls for Bill O’Reilly to be fired and demands an immediate independent investigation into the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News.
The Columbia Journalism Review’s Kyle Pope says it’s time for Fox News’s journalists to speak out about O’Reilly:
What’s the appropriate response when your employer’s standard bearer is being rewarded with a new contract while shelling out millions of dollars to women willing to come forward, by name, and talk about his abuse?
Well, you could leave.
Or speak out.
Or refuse to be used as cover.
If not you, then journalism itself, the rest of us, need to do so on your behalf.
Update: Fox News EVP of Advertising Sales Paul Rittenburg, who is departing the company in three weeks, released this statement Tuesday evening: “We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about the O’Reilly Factor. At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”