In the last few hours, six more advertisers joined Mercedes-Benz yesterday and Hyundai early Tuesday in pulling their advertising from the 'The O'Reilly Factor' show. BMW of North America; GlaxoSmithKline; Allstate; Constant Contact, an online marketer; Untuckit, a men’s clothing distributor; and Sanofi Consumer HealthCare, which advertised products like ACT mouthwash on Mr. O’Reilly’s show, have pulled their ad dollars, reports an updated article at the New York Times.
Marketing representatives stated that they will monitor the situation regarding the claims against Bill O'Reilly, but there is no doubt that losing eight advertisers in 24 hrs. is an emergency room issue for both Bill O'Reilly and Fox News, as well as the entire Rupert Murdoch family.
Scandal and turmoil returned to Fox News on Monday, with ousted chairman Roger Ailes becoming the subject of a new sexual harassment lawsuit. Also on Monday, the New York Times published a scathing investigation that found five women who made allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate allegations against him. The five women charging O'Reilly received settlements totaling about $13 million according to the Times.
“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,” Donna Boland, the manager of corporate communications for Mercedes-Benz, wrote in an email. Mercedes-Benz has spent an estimated $1.9 million in ads on “The O’Reilly Factor” in the last year, according to iSpot.tv, the TV ad analytics firm.
In a separate article Monday evening, the Times cited a difficult situation in dealing with money-machine O'Reilly. Ratings are up significantly under most cable news shows in the Trump era and O'Reilly's are no exception. Viewers are likely to dismiss the women's claims, but advertisers control the purse strings.
If more advertisers abandon Mr. O’Reilly’s show, it would be a blow to Fox News, which provides billions of dollars in revenue each year to its parent company, 21st Century Fox. Mr. O’Reilly has long been the pugnacious face of a prime-time lineup that sets the tone for conservative commentary. His show attracts almost 4 million viewers a night, and from 2014 through 2016 it generated more than $446 million in advertising revenue, according to the research firm Kantar Media.
The situation today at Fox News has to be critical.