Penn State Scandal: Advertisers Bail on ESPN Broadcast

9:49 AM PST 11/14/2011 by THR Staff
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At least six companies, including Cars.com, have reportedly removed their ads in wake of the sexual abuse scandal.

In the wake of the sexual abuse scandal that led to the recent firing of head coach Joe Paterno after his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of children, at least six advertisers have reportedly pulled their ads from broadcasts on ESPN of Pennsylvania State University football games.

After Cars.com announced that they would be pulling their ads from the school’s upcoming games, The Wall Street Journal revealed that at least six advertisers would be doing the same.

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"I have multiple advertisers pulling ads from the ESPN broadcast," said one media-time buyer. "I am advising my clients to move out of games for the short term," another buyer added.

ESPN told THR that they not comment on individual advertiser activity.  

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Cars.com recently announced that they had removed their commercials from Penn State’s game against Nebraska and next weekend against Ohio State. A spokeswoman for Cars.com said that the move was "due to the recent allegations surrounding the Penn State football program."

"As a proud, longtime supporter of ESPN College Football, it's important to us that we're building our brand in a way that celebrates the sport, its fans and the dedication of its student athletes," she added in a statement.

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The Wall Street Journal article does not specifically name the other advertisers who have pulled their ads, but does mention that Penn State may also have to worry about its corporate sponsors as well.

Penn State came under fire when Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at the school, was accused of molesting eight boys. The school’s legendary coach, Joe Paterno, was fired last week after he came under fire for not reporting an incident he witnessed nine years ago involving Sandusky to the authorities. He had passed on a report to the school's athletic director.

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