Editor’s note: Limbaugh late Saturday afternoon issued an “apology.” Read our take on what it means: “How Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Apology’ Destroys Any Credibility He Had Left On The Right.”
Rush Limbaugh is attempting to survive the firestorm he created this week, but his advertisers — many of whom have been with him for many years — have decided public perception demands they drop their support of the conservative radio talk show shock jock. The list of advertisers leaving Rush Limbaugh’s show now stands at at least six — although those six include parent corporations of several different brands. Thanks in large part to a grassroots campaign that began Wednesday in response to Limbaugh labeling 30-year old college student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” then on Thursday demanding she post online videos of her having sex, Limbaugh’s brand has all of a sudden become poison.
The latest advertisers who have “suspended” their advertising from Limbaugh’s show include Citrix Online and all its businesses, including the popular GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC. Yesterday, the privately-owned online retailer that sells legal documents and services with annual sales over $100 million, Legal Zoom, the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball team and Quicken Loans, both headed by Dan Gilbert joined the boycott and suspended their advertising. And two different mattress companies, Sleep Number, and The Sleep Train – which deserves credit for being the first to have the courage to stand up to Limbaugh — have ask either exited or suspended advertising with Limbaugh.
It’s very important to note that suspending advertising does not mean permanently quitting. These advertisers will need to make their intentions clear, and activists will need to keep watchful eyes and ears.
And it is the online activists who deserve much praise, as do the above companies as well. Twitter has been the platform of choice for these activists, and many are following the Twitter hashtag #BoycottRush, and the Twitter account StopRush, maintained by the extremely successful Angelo Carusone of StopBeck fame. (Carusone actually did “stop Beck,” pressuring Glenn Beck’s advertisers to drop their support of the Fox News host until Fox found their support untenable and the two parted ways.)
But there are many other advertisers who have either remained silent or have not been able to have the courage to stand up to Limbaugh, seen as the unofficial head of the GOP and “untouchable.”
Perhaps the most shocking decision to not leave the Rush Limbaugh show comes from ProFlowers, which delivers to millions of women each year Mother’s Day flowers. Imagine what message that sends, now?
Other advertisers who have not rejected Limbaugh include Carbonite, a popular online computer backup system. Carbonite CEO David Friend announced he has “scheduled a face-to-face meeting next week with Limbaugh during which I will impress upon him that his comments were offensive to many of our customers and employees alike.”
That, while wise, is insufficient, and Friend is trying to have his cake and eat it too, as it were. His customers and employees should be outraged.
Sears is claiming they do not advertise on Rush Limbaugh’s show, and that it “is possible that a station incorrectly ran one of our ads on or adjacent to the show.” StopRush seems to have proof that they do.
LifeLock, which has been silent on the issue, has long run ads on Limbaugh’s show. Limbaugh is a current spokesperson for them, we have an image of a Lifelock ad that appeared on Rush Limbaugh’s website yesterday afternoon, along with this ad campaign (image, right) that is linked from Limbaugh’s homepage.
Other advertisers may be caught in a challenging position based on how the buy advertising time, not having direct control over where their advertising ends up, but make no mistake: they can demand that their dollars not be used to support Limbaugh and that their advertisements are not aired on his show or published on his website.
For instance, an advertiser may have a relationship with Clear Channel, who in essence is the corporate entity airing and responsible for Rush Limbaugh’s show. A company that advertises with Clear Channel essentially supports Rush Limbaugh’s show — and could stop if they wanted to make a statement.
Century 21 Real Estate yesterday claimed they do not advertise on Rush Limbaugh’s show, but did not state if they do business with Clear Channel. They may or may not — perhaps an enterprising reader could do some research and let us know?
Oreck, the vacuum cleaner manufacturer has been stating via Twitter they do not “currently” advertise on Limbaugh’s show, but they have in the past, and have not stated they will not in the future.
All of which to say shows advertisers that being associated with the Rush Limbaugh show — correctly or incorrectly — has become poison.
Note: Tax Resolution Services, Mid-West Life Insurance Company of Tennessee, American Forces Network, Mission Pharmaceutical Company, Life Quotes, Inc., and Lending Tree have all been listed as being current advertisers on Rush Limbaugh’s show and/or website. We have not confirmed this — feel free to provide us with more information.
We’ll be updating our site constantly throughout this situation, over the weekend and next week. Please be sure to check in here for the latest news on the Rush Limbaugh boycott, as well as other news.
Editor’s note: The Rush Limbaugh boycott and responses to his attacks on women are continuously developing stories. Please visit our main page to check back throughout the day and the weekend as we’ll be following all details of the Rush Limbaugh advertisers boycott and responses. To see all our stories on this topic, click here.
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