POLITICS
07/19/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

UPDATED: Olive Garden Denies Pulling Letterman Ads Over Palin Joke

UPDATED 6/19: Politico reported that Olive Garden's manager of media relations told the paper the company was pulling its Letterman ads. Olive Garden is disputing the story.

Olive Garden's manager of media relations, who asked not to be quoted on the record, confirmed to POLITICO Thursday that the emails were sent by the restaurant chain, and also confirmed that the company would be pulling its remaining television spots on the program for the rest of the year when asked that question.

But in a statement released later in the day, Olive Garden Director of Media Relations Rich Jeffers disputed POLITICO's report as "erroneous." [...]

When asked about the cancellation confirmation POLITICO obtained from the company's media relations office, Jeffers responded in an email that the individual listed as the press contact on the company's website was unauthorized to speak for the company.

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The Olive Garden tells the Christian Science Monitor that they have not pulled their ads from the Letterman show.

"Information reported today by Andy Barr of Politico regarding Olive Garden's advertising on the Late Show with David Letterman was erroneous. No authorized spokesperson for the company confirmed the information in his report," said Olive Garden spokesman Rich Jeffers in an email to The Vote.

"The Olive Garden media schedule is planned months in advance. The schedule for the Late Show with David Letterman was completed earlier this month. We take all guest concerns seriously. And, as always, we will factor those concerns in as we plan our advertising schedule in the future," he continued.

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Sarah Palin has forgiven David Letterman, but one restaurant chain will never forget. Olive Garden has announced that they are pulling their ads from "The Late Show With David Letterman" following his jokes about the Alaska Governor.

Following a week of back and forth between CBS late night comic David Letterman and Sarah Palin over a crude joke he told about the Alaska Republican governor's daughter, the Olive Garden restaurant says it is canceling all of its scheduled ads on Letterman's "Late Show" for the rest of the year.

In an email obtained by Politico, a spokeswoman for the chain told a Letterman-criticizing pasta fan that "there will be no more Olive Garden ads scheduled for 'The Late Show' with David Letterman in this year's broadcast schedule."

"We apologize that Mr. Letterman's mistake, which was not consistent with our standards and values, left you with a bad impression of Olive Garden," wrote Sherri Bruen, the company's guest relations manager.

An official statement is coming soon, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

Olive Garden may feel some loyalty to Palin. During the campaign, her running mate ate there with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

"When I saw them come in, I was like wow -- John McCain is at Olive Garden," the group's waiter said at the time.

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