Advertisers Flee The O’Reilly Factor en Masse

by Judd Legum –

Latest sexual harassment claims has corporations rethinking their association with Bill O’Reilly.

At least eleven companies have announced they are ending advertising on The O’Reilly Factor. The news comes in the wake of a New York Times story which reveals that O’Reilly and Fox News have paid five women who accused the top-rated cable host of sexual harassment.

At least three of those companies, Sanofi, Untuckit, and Allstate, advertised on the show last night, when O’Reilly did not mention the controversy.

“In light of the disturbing allegations, we instructed our media buyer this morning to reallocate our ad dollars to other shows effective immediately,” a spokesperson for Untuckit said. Allstate in a statement wrote that “inclusivity & support for women are important to us. We are concerned about the issues surrounding the program & have suspended our ads.”

Other companies pulling their spots include Mercedes, Mitsubishi, BMW, Hyundai, GSK, Constant Contact, T. Rowe Price, and Ainsworth.

Dozens of other advertisers, including Microsoft, Comcast, and Esurance, ran ads during last night’s show and have not responded to inquires.

If more advertisers follow, it could pose an existential threat to the O’Reilly Factor. The show, which has the highest ratings in cable news, brought in $178 million in 2015.

Wendy Walsh, a former Fox News guest, said O’Reilly “became hostile” after she rebuffed an invitation to his hotel room. She was subsequently blacklisted from O’Reilly’s show. Walsh appeared with her attorney, Lisa Bloom, on Monday and demanded an independent investigation into the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News.

The pressure on O’Reilly is likely to intensify. Sleeping Giants, a online group that has successfully pressured hundreds of advertisers to abandon, announced it would turn its attention to O’Reilly.

Looking a whole lot like a consensus.

Stay tuned, folks. We’ve got a plan. 

Fox News recently extended O’Reilly’s contact for an indefinite period time at $18 million a year.

Reprinted with permission from Think Progress, a branch of The Center for American Progress