So let’s say you head up the all American (with stuff made in China) Corp. of WalMart. You would probably want to do your advertising with seemingly safe media outlets to get your word out to the masses. By safe I mean, non confrontational, non bias, print, radio or TV advertising. By doing this you would deduce that although you can’t please all of the people all of the time, you might be able to offend the least amount of people, most of the time, by advertising in middle-of-the-road venues.
Now, Glenn Beck , a FOX “news” commentator best known for his on air antics of screaming, yelling, crying, and ranting, has been on vacation for a few weeks. When he comes back this week he is going to be down 36 advertisers. Some of them big like WalMart, CVS, UPS, Sprint and Clorox, to name a few. These advertisers are getting a bit nervous about what is coming out of Beck’s mouth. His latest controversial rant was displayed last month on Fox and Friends morning program when he stated “Obama has over and over again exposed himself as a guy who has deep seated hatred for white people and white culture”. He was referencing the Gates-Crowley cop vs professor fiasco. In essence, many say he called the President of the United States a racist.
Now, this is just the type of stuff that makes advertisers cringe. So, in comes Color Change.org . a political action group that promotes political action among blacks, to stir the pot. And stir the pot they did. They found out instantly, who the sponsors on the Glenn Beck show were, reported on internet sights, blogs, newspapers, etc. a list of those sponsors and their phone numbers and/or web sites. They took out ads, got a lot of grass-roots help and the ads came tumbling down.
Now some of the advertisers just wanted to be pulled off the Glenn Beck show, but others like UPS stores pulled all their ads off of FOX completely. Now no one is delusional here that FOX is going to die on the vine missing a paltry 36 advertisers, but it does show what one group can do with a little help from their friends. Rumblings abound in the advertising business lately about opinion/hype shows. They point out that while they get demographic numbers, these types of shows are much more likely to offend. So, some large, medium and smaller corporations are said to be re-evaluating where those advertising dollars are going.
We have all seen boycotts that work, some that don’t and some that fade away into oblivion. But, whether it made a dent in FOX’s bottom line or not, it does my heart good to see that there are still people who stand up and say “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” (the movie Network) and then do something about it instead of just crying like Glenn Beck.