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By Kenneth Hein, Nielsen Business Media
Some of the nation’s biggest advertisers are distancingthemselves from Fox News host Glenn Beck after he called PresidentObama a racist during a July 28 broadcast.
Geico has pulled its ads from Fox News Channel’s “The Glenn BeckProgram.” Lawyers.com, which is owned by LexisNexis, also has vowednot to advertise during the program, according to Color of Change,an African-American online political organization that has beenspurring advertisers to stop supporting the show.
Additionally, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance and SCJohnson all said their ad placements during the broadcast were madein error and that they would correct the mistake.
The controversy stems from Beck’s comment that President Obama is a”racist” with “a deep-seated hatred for white people.”
Geico spent more than a half-billion dollars on ads last year,according to the Nielsen Co. It spent more than a quarter-billiondollars for the first half of 2009.
A Fox rep noted that Geico is dropping its ads from the show butwas quick to note that it was shifting dollars to other programs.”The advertisers referenced have all moved their spots from Beck toother programs on the network, so there has been no revenue lost,”the rep said.
Beck’s show pulled in an average of slightly more than 2 millionviewers for each of its 19 telecasts in July, according toNielsen.
Progressive Insurance rep Cristy Cote said that there has been alot of confusion surrounding the company’s involvement with theprogram. “We had not bought advertising on the show in the firstplace,” she said, “so when we learned that our advertising hadappeared on the show by mistake, we contacted the network tocorrect the error.”
She said Progressive tries to “avoid programming that we believeour customers and potential customers might find extremelyoffensive.”
A Procter & Gamble rep echoed that sentiment: “At times our adsare run by mistake on shows that they were not meant to … Any ofour ads that ran did so by mistake, and we’ll try to make sure thatdoesn’t happen in the future.”
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