When it comes to advertisers avoiding controversial shows, it’s not just Rush From today’s TRI Newsletter: Premiere Networks is circulating a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiments.” The list includes carmakers (Ford, GM, Toyota), insurance companies (Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm) and restaurants (McDonald’s, Subway). As you’ll see in the note below, those “environments” go beyond the Rush Limbaugh show
“To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory...They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).’
This helps explain why, on Rush Limbaugh’s flagship station WABC, almost of the commercial breaks were filled with unpaid pubic service announcements. You can check out the list of the 50 advertisers who were known to have dropped Limbaugh before this report here.
But it’s not just Limbaugh that these advertisers want to disassociate with, but other big names in right-wing radio too. As the Daily Beast’s John Avalon notes, this is unprecedented in the 20-plus years that Limbaugh and his imitators have been on the air and could spell real trouble for an industry that’s already suffering demographically. Women ages 24–55 are the prize advertising demographic, but Limbaugh and other conservative hosts have steadily alienated these listeners over the years, so the sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke were “a perfect storm.”
The advertising flight is reminiscent of Glenn Beck’s Fox News program. After major companies refused to advertise on Beck’s show in light of racially insensitive comments, he was left with just fringe businesses like survival seed banks and gold sellers. Not long thereafter, he left Fox, reportedly under pressure.