Holding Bill O’Reilly Accountable: 60-Plus Advertisers Quit His Show
Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” has lost more than 60 advertisers and there are growing calls for host Bill O’Reilly to be fired after the New York Times reported April 1 that Fox paid five women $13 million to silence their allegations of sexual harassment or verbal abuse, CNN reported.
“The O’Reilly Factor” brings in more revenue than any other show on Fox News, as well as its main competitors CNN and MSNBC, according to market research firm Kantar Media, ABC News reported. At least one company, Rosland Capital, is sticking with O’Reilly. “We have no plans to change our advertising strategy,” the company said.
An email from CREDO encourages people to sign a petition to fire the Fox host. “Fox News has a misogyny problem …Bill O’Reilly needs to go,” Silicon Valley-based CREDO Action from Working Assets said. A progressive activism organization, CREDO funds social change using revenue from its mobile phone company, CREDO mobile.
Angie’s List is one of the more recent companies in a growing list that have dumped the program. A week ago, the website, which features crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses, said it would continue to advertise with the show. On Friday night, an Angie’s List spokeswoman said, “We are no longer advertising on the program,” Glamour reported.
On O’Reilly’s Friday evening show, just 10 national companies aired ads during the hour-long program, down from 55 advertisers on Monday of last week, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
CNNMoney reached out to dozens of companies that have run ads on the program and gathered responses, which you can read below. Some companies talked about their decision to pull the ads on their Twitter accounts after users asked them about their ads.
Credit Karma said, “In light of the recent concerning allegations, we will not be advertising on this show and have asked for our ads to be removed.”
Esurance said, “In light of the recent controversies surrounding Bill O’Reilly and his treatment of women, Esurance is suspending its advertising during ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ At Esurance, inclusion and support for women extends across all aspects of our business — from our associates to our customers to our partners. And we want to partner with organizations and programming that share those same values.”
Ancestry said, “Equality and respect are core values for Ancestry, especially in the workplace. We will not support those whose actions conflict with those values. To be clear, we have pulled our ads from Bill O’Reilly.”
Paul Rittenberg, executive vice president of ad sales for Fox News, tried to downplay the impact of the move by advertisers, saying the ad pulls won’t impact the network financially, Glamour reported. Some companies are just switching their ad budget to other Fox programs. The network is talking with the companies who walked away. “We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about The O’Reilly Factor,” Rittenberg said.
The implications of pulling out of advertising are relatively large, considering that “The O’Reilly Factor” has been cable news’ No. 1 program for the past 16 years and has wrapped its best quarter of ratings yet, according to CNN. For Fox, this means a lot of money: in 2015, O’Reilly’s show generated more than $178 in advertising revenue for the network.
Wendy Walsh, a regular guest on O’Reilly’s show, spoke to ABC News about her allegations first detailed in The Times’ investigation. Walsh said O’Reilly invited her to dinner after she began appearing regularly on his show and asked her to become a regular contributor. After she turned him down, she said he became hostile to her. She said that she only appeared on the show a few more times.
“As we walked past the hostess stand at the restaurant, he turned right towards the bedrooms and I turned left towards the bar and he caught up with me and said, ‘No, no, come back to my suite,'” Walsh said.
The women who made allegations against O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show and have complained about behavior such as verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if O’Reilly was masturbating, the New York Times reported.
O’Reilly has said that he was targeted because he is famous. and he settled the lawsuit to “spare his children the pain of messy public ordeals.”
President Donald Trump came out in support of O’Reilly, saying he is “a person I know well” and “a good person,” Trump said he didn’t “think Bill did anything wrong.” This isn’t the first time Trump has trivialized allegations of sexual misconduct at Fox News.
After Fox News founder and former CEO Roger Ailes resigned in July 2016 following allegations that he sexually harassed female colleagues, Trump defended him, calling him “a very, very good person.” Ailes was an adviser to the Trump campaign and helped with debate preparation.
These are some of the companies that are pulling their ads from “The O’Reilly Factor,” according to CNN:
Mercedes-Benz: “Yes, we had advertising running on The O’Reilly Factor (we run on most major cable news shows) and it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy. 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.”
Hyundai: “Hyundai currently has no advertising on The O’Reilly Factor. We had upcoming advertising spots on the show but are reallocating them due to the recent and disturbing allegations. As a company we seek to partner with companies and programming that share our values of inclusion and diversity. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions.”
BMW of North America: “In light of the recent New York Times investigation, BMW of North America has suspended its advertising with ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’”
Mitsubishi: “Mitsubishi Motors takes these allegations very seriously and we have decided that we will pull our advertising at the present time. We will continue to monitor this situation as we assess our long-term strategy.”
Lexus: “We take our duties as a responsible advertiser seriously and have been closely monitoring the situation involving ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ In response, we have asked our media-buying partners to move all Lexus ad inventory out of the program.”
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition: “We removed our advertising from the program because of these recent and disturbing allegations.”
Constant Contact: “Based on the recent allegations and our strong commitment to inclusion, respect and tolerance in the workplace, we have decided to pull Constant Contact’s ads from The O’Reilly Factor.”
Credit Karma: “In light of the recent concerning allegations, we will not be advertising on this show and have asked for our ads to be removed.”
Bayer: “Bayer supports a safe, respectful and non-abusive environment for women and we have reached out to Fox to voice our concerns regarding this matter. Based on the serious nature of these allegations, we have made the decision to suspend all advertising on the program in question. 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. It is important to note that Bayer purchases packages of advertising time across all major networks without selecting placement on any specific program. We regularly evaluate our advertising purchases to make sound judgments to continue or discontinue based upon our beliefs, values and ethical considerations.”
TrueCar: “Pending further assessment of recent developments, we have instructed our media buyer to direct our advertising to other programming.”
GlaxoSmithKline: “We are continually reviewing our advertising to ensure it is conducted in a responsible manner aligned with our values. We have temporarily put a hold on spots running on The O’Reilly Factor while we assess this situation.”
Sanofi: “At Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, decisions about advertising on any given website, network, magazine, or programs are never undertaken as an endorsement or non-endorsement of the host, editorial or entertainment content. Rather, our purpose in advertising our product is to provide important information to consumers so that they may make an informed decision about which product will best provide relief for their symptoms. 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. 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.”
UNTUCKit: “As a company in which more than 2/3rd of our employees are women, we take sexual harassment claims very seriously. Moreover, it is important our corporate partners reflect the same principles of inclusivity and equality upon which we have built our brand. 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.”
Allstate: “Inclusivity and support for women are important Allstate values. We are concerned about the issues surrounding the program and we have suspended our advertising.”
Esurance: “In light of the recent controversies surrounding Bill O’Reilly and his treatment of women, Esurance is suspending its advertising during “The O’Reilly Factor.” At Esurance, inclusion and support for women extends across all aspects of our business — from our associates to our customers to our partners. And we want to partner with organizations and programming that share those same values.”
T. Rowe Price: “We regularly evaluate our media buys to ensure alignment with our corporate values, and in light of the recent allegations we have decided to pull our upcoming ads from The O’Reilly Factor.”
Wayfair: “We do not have any future ad buys planned for the show at this time. We condemn all forms of harassment and are closely assessing the situation. 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.”
Orkin: “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 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.”
Society for Human Resource Management: “SHRM has determined to cease its current advertising on the Fox News Network.”
The Wonderful Company: “At The Wonderful Company, we are committed to a respectful and inclusive workplace enviornment and insist upon the same from our business partners. We do not currently have or plan for ad inventory on this show.”
Coldwell Banker: “We were disappointed that our ad ran on O’Reilly as it wasn’t part of our intentional media programming. We pulled future ads from the show.”
H&R Block: “We share your concern about recent allegations, and no longer advertise during The O’Reilly Factor as a result.”
Weather Tech: “We are already working on adjusting our advertising schedule and we appreciate your feedback.”
Advil: “We are no longer advertising on the Bill O’Reilly show.”
BambooHR: “BambooHR condemns workplace harassment, and in light of recent allegations, has canceled ads on The O’Reilly Factor.”
Jenny Craig: “As an organization, Jenny Craig condemns any and all forms of sexual harassment. As a matter of corporate policy, we do not publicly comment on our advertising strategy. We are constantly evaluating our media buys to maximize the efficiency of our corporate investment and effectively reach our target audience. However, we can confirm that we have suspended all ads on The O’Reilly Factor.”
Ancestry: “Equality and respect are core values for Ancestry, especially in the workplace. We will not support those whose actions conflict with those values. To be clear, we have pulled our ads from Bill O’Reilly.”
Subaru: “After review, we will no longer advertise during the Bill O’Reilly show in the future.”
Old Dominion Freight Line: “In light of the recent allegations surrounding the Bill O’Reilly show, OD has decided to discontinue our commercials from the show.”
Amica Insurance: “Our ads on The O’Reilly Factor are being pulled. It may take a few days for this to occur.”
LegalZoom: “This was not part of our intentional media programming and we have pulled all ads from this show.”
Invisalign: “Align Technology is redirecting its media buy for Invisalign spots and will not advertise on/around The O’Reilly Factor.”
Pacific Life: “As of today, Pacific Life is no longer an advertiser on the O’Reilly Factor.”
Visionworks: “Visionworks’ media buy was with Fox News, not with any show specifically. Once we learned about the allegations, we pulled our ads from the program. Our media strategy is built around programming that aligns with our company’s, and our customer’s, core values. We continually review our advertising strategy and update on a quarterly basis, however when situations arise, we are able to work with our media partners to act swiftly to ensure our core values are embodied. After recent allegations on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Visionworks has pulled all ads.”
Stanley Steemer: “We are in the process of removing our commercials from ‘The O’Reilly Factor.”‘
Carfax: “For more than 30 years, CARFAX has been working hard as a consumer advocate to give Americans the facts about used cars. The ongoing controversy over The O’Reilly Factor is a distraction from our mission to help millions of consumers. Therefore, we have instructed FOX News to remove our advertising from the program.”
Eli Lilly and Company: “Eli Lilly and Company has suspended its advertising on The O’Reilly Factor for now.”
Allstar Products Group: “It was a corporate decision for Allstar Products Group to pull the media.”
Propane Council: “The Proudly Propane campaign is no longer advertising on The O’Reilly Factor, effective immediately.”
Reddi Wip: “We’ve received some questions about our advertising presence on the O’Reilly Factor. We are removing the show from our advertising plans.”
GoodRx: “After review, GoodRx will no longer advertise on The O’Reilly Factor. We are in the process of removing our ads.”
Southern New Hampshire University: “In light of recent allegations, SNHU has pulled all advertising from The O’Reilly Factor. As a University, we value diversity, inclusion, and respect for all, and we take every measure to ensure our advertising is consistent with our core values.”
Touchnote: “We requested that our commercials won’t run on the show. Sadly pre-booked spots may still air.”
BeenVerified: “At this time, we’re pulling our advertisements on The O’Reilly Factor. We continually monitor our advertising to make sure it aligns with our company values.”
Consumer Cellular: “We can confirm that Consumer Cellular has removed our advertising from ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ show.”
MileIQ: “We take this very seriously & are addressing it. As the cancellation takes effect, some prebooked spots may still air.”
Peloton: “Peloton has currently suspended advertising on The O’Reilly Factor in light of the recent allegations against the show’s host, which are in direct opposition to our company’s core values.”
Infiniti: “INFINITI has chosen to reallocate our resources to other time slots due to recent allegations.”
Land Rover: “In light of the current situation, The O’Reilly Factor is not a positive environment for advertising our products and thus we are not allocating any ads to the program.”
Next Day Blinds: “Our ads have been pulled from ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’”
Pfizer: [No statement; spokesperson confirmed report saying company pulled ads.]
Jaguar: “In light of the current situation,we are not allocating any ads to The O’Reilly Factor program.”
Voya: “We have no spots scheduled to run on the O’Reilly Factor.”
Mahindra: “Mahindra has ceased all advertising on the O’Reilly Factor.”
Allergan: “Allergan is not advertising on the O’Reilly Factor.”
Moberg Pharma AB: “We instructed our media agency to drop it immediately. We have a comprehensive media schedule across many cable TV programs.”
Mattress Firm: “After learning Mattress Firm ads were running during the O’Reilly Factor, as of today we’ve instructed FOX News not to air any future paid or ADU units during the program.”
Laser Spine Institute: “There may be a delay, but we’ve requested @LaserSpine ads be pulled immediately from O’Reilly. We do not condone his actions.”
Angie’s List: “We are no longer advertising on the program.”
Ring: “All Ring ads have been removed from the O’Reilly Show.”
Companies currently evaluating whether or not to keep advertising on “The O’Reilly Factor”
Trivago: “We are constantly reviewing our media buys to ensure we do not support any behavior that contradicts trivago’s corporate values. We are currently reviewing the information available, but do not discuss our advertising strategy publicly.”
Enterprise Holdings: “We are looking into this, but we haven’t made any decisions.”
Expedia: “We regularly evaluate all of our media buying, as we are doing now with regard to this program.”
Companies that have ceased advertising on “The O’Reilly Factor” for other reasons
CFP Board: “CFP Board does not have a partnership or a sponsorship with Fox News. Our television advertising is purchased through an advertising network where the advertisements are placed on multiple cable television channels and shows. As our spring flight is winding down, we will no longer have any placements on Fox News.”
TD Ameritrade: “TD Ameritrade did not have a media buy with The O’Reilly Factor, and we do not now. We have had one ad run on the program in the last 90 days tied to a broader buy with Fox News — not with The O’Reilly Factor — and earlier this week we instructed our media buyers to avoid the show if any one-off opportunities come up. … [H]arassment of any kind is unacceptable, and we are watching this story unfold carefully.”
Sign up for the Moguldom newsletter — the most compelling business news you need to know about reversing inequality in tech, delivered straight to your inbox.