“The O’Reilly Factor” is facing a growing advertiser backlash, as 21 companies have already pulled their commercials from the show amid a harassment scandal involving the host, Bill O’Reilly.
Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW of North America, Mitsubishi Motors, Lexus, Constant Contact, Bayer, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Orkin, UNTUCKit, Allstate, Esurance (owned by Allstate), T. Rowe Price, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Credit Karma, Wayfair, The Wonderful Company, TrueCar, the Society for Human Resource Management and Coldwell Banker are pulling ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” show, after a report about five settlements of Bill O’Reilly with women who alleged sexual harassment or verbal abuse by him.
Executive vice president of advertising sales at Fox News, Paul Rittenberg on Tuesday said, “We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about the O’Reilly Factor,” Rittenberg said. “At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”
Hyundai also said on Tuesday that it is not currently advertising on “The O’Reilly Factor”, and will not place any ad to this programme, due to the “recent and disturbing allegations,” it said.
“We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions,” the company said.
Statement of Mercedes-Benz on Monday was, “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.”
The clothing company UNTUCKit said, “Moreover, it is important our corporate partners reflect the same principles of inclusivity and equality upon which we have built our brand,” the statement said. “In light of the disturbing allegations, we instructed our media buyer this morning to reallocate our ad dollars to other shows effective immediately. We will continue to closely monitor the situation but believe this is the right decision at this time.”
Rollins Inc, which owns the pest control company Orkin, said, “Orkin buys its advertising in broad dayparts on networks that reach our target audience. We do not buy specific shows, including the O’Reilly Factor,” the company said. “The O’Reilly Factor is in the daypart that we buy on Fox, and we have added that show to our ‘Do Not Buy’ list in the wake of the current allegations.”
The consumer healthcare company Sanofi stated, “The controversy around The O’Reilly Factor program and allegations made against Bill O’Reilly are matters that we take seriously and will continue to monitor. We do not endorse the behavior or opinions of program hosts or the content,” the Sanofi spokesperson said. “We have reallocated our current advertising originally scheduled during this program. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions.”
The German pharmaceutical company Bayer said, “supports a safe, respectful and non-abusive environment for women and we have reached out to Fox to voice our concerns regarding this matter,” it added, “Based on the serious nature of these allegations, we have made the decision to suspend all advertising on the program in question,” the Bayer spokesperson said. “This suspension has been requested immediately and will be handled as expeditiously as possible. We have been informed, however, that programming changes may not become effective immediately.”
The e-commerce company Wayfair said that, it has no “future ad buys planned for the show at this time.”
“We condemn all forms of harassment are closely assessing the situation,” a spokeswoman said. “We have advertised on the show in the past and in light of the reports have moved our spots to other programming while we assess the situation.”
Mitsubishi spokesperson said: “We will continue to monitor this situation as we assess our long-term strategy.”
The Online directory company, Angie’s List, said, “The advertising strategy we have long used at Angie’s List is meant to reach as many people as possible with news that our service exists and is available to them,” a spokeswoman for Angie’s List said. “We place ads across a wide spectrum of venues intending to reach as many viewers/listeners/ readers as possible without taking a position on the viewpoints of the venues themselves. Just as we trust members to make their own hiring decisions, we trust them to make their own media consumption decisions.”