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gets big results in call for advertisers to drop Fox's Glen Beck
(August 17, 2009) An organized movement is claiming success in getting
advertisers to pull commercials from the Fox News cable network's "Glen
Beck" show after the host made on-air assertions that President Barack
Obama is a "racist" and has "a deep-seated hatred for white people."
Since the advocacy Web site, ColorOfChange.org, created a petition
directed to advertisers appearing on "Glen Beck," more than 45,000 have
signed on urging advertisers to remove their ads. Among the companies
that have agreed to do so are Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Geico
Insurance, Men's Wearhouse, Sargento Cheese, Lawyers.com and Progressive
"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention," said John
Michaels, Senior Communications Manager at LexisNexis in an email to
ColorOfChange.org. "We have suspended further advertising during Mr.
"We have no plans to continue advertising on Mr. Beck's show," Michaels
continued in another email.
When executives at Procter & Gamble were contacted by ColorOfChange.org,
they said that any ads run during Glenn Beck were run by mistake, and
that they would correct the problem going forward.
"No P&G ads should have appeared on this program in the first place,"
said Martha Depenbrock, Brand Building Stakeholder Relations for Procter
& Gamble in an email. "To be clear, if any of our advertising appeared
on the Glenn Beck show, it was in error and we appreciate you bringing
this matter to our attention. We will do what we can to see that it
doesn't happen again."
Progressive Insurance said any ads running during Glenn Beck were a
mistake by Fox News Channel -- a mistake they have asked the network to
"Our (advertising) order specifies no Glenn Beck," said Linda J. Harris,
Media Director at Progressive Insurance in an email to ColorOfChange.org.
"We have confirmed with the network that our spots should not be running
there," Harris said in a later email.
At the end of July, ColorOfChange.org called on its 600,000-plus members
to sign a petition urging companies who advertise on Glenn Beck's radio
and television shows to cut off their advertising on Beck's programs.
The mobilization came after Beck called President Obama a "racist" who
"has a deep-seated hatred for white people" during an appearance last
Tuesday on "Fox and Friends." More than 45,000 members responded to the
call by signing a petition directed at advertisers.
"What Beck is doing is race-baiting at its worst, it's dangerous and
it's hard to imagine any company wanting their brand associated with
it," said James Rucker, executive director of ColorOfChange.org. "Beck
has now shown that his extreme views are more appropriate for a street
corner than a major media program. He no longer deserves the backing of
The ColorOfChange.org email urged members to go visit http://www.colorofchange.org/beck/,
where they could send letters to executives of target companies. Some of
the advertisers who are targeted as part of the campaign include GEICO,
NutriSystem and United Parcel Service.
The full text of the petition letter appears below or can be viewed by
To President/CEO & Board:
I want to alert you to the fact that Glenn Beck--whose show you sponsor
on FOX--is using his platform to make outlandish accusations about the
President and to advance baseless theories that prey on race-based
He is claiming that President Obama is a "racist," that he has a
"deep-seated hatred for white people," and that he is attempting to use
our government to deliver "Obama-brand reparations." The claims are
ludicrous, and the rhetoric is racially divisive and pollutes our public
I presume your company does not want to enable such rhetoric, nor have
your products or services associated with the kind of views and tactics
espoused by Beck. I urge you to immediately cease all advertising on the
Glenn Beck Program on the FOX News Channel.
With more than 600,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the largest
African-American online political organization in the country.