Advertisers Flee Glenn Beck’s Show


Inflammatory pundits be warned: progressive organizations are learning to leverage the power of advertising boycotts – and major brands are listening. After Fox News host Glenn Beck called President Obama a “racist” last month, Color of Change, the largest online African-American political organization, launched an advertising boycott. As of last week, Beck’s show lost 62 of its advertisers.

According to data collected about advertising revenue, at its highest, Beck’s program took in $1,060,000 for the week ending August 2, 2009. Color of Change launched the boycott at the end of the week. Beck’s show had an estimated advertising revenue of $492,000 for the week ending September 6, 2009, according to collected data.

“Fox News Channel has consistently claimed they haven’t lost revenue as advertisers abandon Glenn Beck, but the numbers prove otherwise,” said James Rucker, executive director of “Fox News Channel has a limited amount of ad positions. If 62 companies refuse to run ads on two of their 24 hours of programming, they are losing inventory. No matter how high Beck’s ratings have been lately, advertisers still see Beck as toxic and don’t want him associated with their brands.”

Former advertiser on Beck’s show, The Clorox Co., said, “we do not want to be associated with inflammatory speech used by either liberal or conservative talk show hosts.” Clorox said in a statement that it will not advertise on political talk shows.

“We don’t plan on running any more ads on the Glenn Beck Show,” said Capital One spokesperson, Kathy Adkins.

“Our current TV buys do not include any future airings on the Glenn Beck Show… Our ads will not run during the show,” said Mai Lee Ua, Project Manager for Public Relations at Discover.

Some advertisers only halted advertising on Beck’s show temporarily. Spokesman for UPS, Rich Hallabran said he temporarily stopped buying ads on Fox News Channel, but said it should not be “interpreted as we are permanently withdrawing our advertising from Fox.”

Van Jones co-founded Color of Change

There is an interesting twist to the story: Van Jones, Obama’s former special advisor for green jobs, enterprise, and innovation at the Council on Environmental Quality, was a co-founder of Color of Change. Jones resigned after Beck repeatedly brought up his “radical” past.  Rucker said Jones has not been associated with the organization for over a year.

“I didn’t even know Van had been a subject of Glenn Beck’s sustained attacks until after we had launched the campaign,” Rucker said. “I can say absolutely there was no involvement by Van or the White House. Beck has made these claims that are not fact-based and he needs to change the subject, and that’s what this is all about.”

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by

6 responses

  1. This is excellent news. I support Beck’s right to say what he wants, but he has to accept the consequences of his words and deeds.

    Fox is losing millions over one comment. But what a comment it was.

    I applaud these advertisers for stepping back from Beck. And those companies who return to advertising on Beck’s program will have to step back again when Beck puts his foot in his mouth again. The man can’t help himself. The man is an ignorant ass.

  2. HA! Boycott’s won’t work against Glenn Beck anymore. if his ratings are scratching the 3 mil’s during a bad time slot(5 p.m E), ya should wait till they move him closer to prime time. His ratings will past Bill O’s and Sean H. in heartbeat.
    And if ya didn’t know who he was in the past, the liberal media sure has been talking up a storm these past few weeks.
    So I’m sure he’ll be drawing close to 3.5 to 4 mil toward the end of the year.
    Thanks Liberal Media(no such thing as bad publicity) =)

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