Bill O’Reilly is in trouble. Bigly. After the New York Times revealed the Fox News star and the network have at least five sexual harassment lawsuits in the last decade, advertisers began to flee his show. Mercedes-Benz was the first to jump and within hours, the floodgates were open. During last night’s show, only a handful of advertisements were featured and several of the remaining companies, like Next Day Blings, are trying to get out as soon as possible:
“We buy our media quarterly,” explained company spokeswoman Katie Henkes, “and are constantly monitoring to make sure our buy aligns with our advertising strategy and our target customers. As soon as we learned about the accusations against Bill O’Reilly, we instructed our media buyer to cancel our advertising on ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ Unfortunately, our media buyer was unable to impact [Wednesday’s] show.”
Luke Lappala, a spokesman for Scottevest, said his company “cannot continue to advertise on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and directed our media buyer to pull all advertising from the program immediately. Unfortunately, our media buyer was not able to pull the ads for Wednesday night in time.”
Invisalign is abandoning O’Reilly, too, but spokeswoman Shannon Mangum Henderson said “it can take a few days for a schedule to clear,” which is why commercials did not vanish right away.
Think Progress reports the show abruptly ended 15 minutes early last night.
On Thursday night, virtually all national advertisers abandoned The O’Reilly Factor, the nation’s top-rated cable news show. The program included just seven advertisements and was, without warning or explanation, cut 15 minutes short.
Meanwhile, Fox and O’Reilly have been unusually quiet. Pussycat got their tongues?
Fox News and its star host Bill O’Reilly appear to have developed a strategy in response to allegations of serial sexual harassment and the mass defections of advertisers from O’Reilly’s program: Say as little as possible.
The voluble TV personality has said nothing on the air about the controversy since it broke over the weekend. Fox News has all but ignored any reporting about it in its broadcasts and on its website; its one acknowledgment was a 25-second summary on its “Media Buzz” program on Sunday. It has not mentioned the advertiser reaction.
In case you are wondering, one of the only companies announcing they’ll stick by O’Reilly is Angie’s List. A company founded by a woman.
It isn’t hard to imagine Bill O’Reilly is quietly freaking out behind the scenes, just like the good ol’ days. Play us out, Bill-O:
By Jen Hayden, The Daily Kos, 4/4/17