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ProFlowers Pulls Ads From Rush Limbaugh's Show Over Sandra Fluke Comments

By TALI ARBEL 03/ 4/12 06:10 PM ET AP

NEW YORK — A flower company is the seventh advertiser to pull its ads from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh's radio program in reaction to his derogatory comments about a law student who testified about birth control policy.

ProFlowers said Sunday on its Facebook page that it has suspended advertising on Limbaugh's program because his comments about Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke "went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company."

The six other advertisers that say they have pulled ads from his show are mortgage lender Quicken Loans, mattress retailers Sleep Train and Sleep Number, software maker Citrix Systems Inc., online data backup service provider Carbonite and online legal document services company LegalZoom.

ProFlowers had said on Twitter that posts it received about Limbaugh's remarks affected its advertising strategy. ProFlowers is an online flower delivery service.

Limbaugh called the 30-year-old Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" last week after she testified to congressional Democrats in support of national health care policies that would compel employers and other organizations, including her university, to offer group health insurance that covers birth control for women.

He apologized to Fluke on Saturday after being criticized by Republican and Democratic politicians and after several advertisers left the show.

Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks Inc. hosts Limbaugh's program, one of the country's most popular talk radio shows. The company is supporting Limbaugh, whose on-air contract with Premiere runs through 2016.

"The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue," Premiere Networks said in a statement emailed Sunday by spokeswoman Rachel Nelson. "We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions."

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment operates more than 850 radio stations in the U.S., and Premiere says it's the largest radio content provider in the country, syndicating programs to more than 5,000 affiliate stations.

When asked which companies or organizations were the largest advertisers on Limbaugh's show, Nelson said that that information was "proprietary." Nelson declined to say how much revenue the company will lose with the advertiser defections or how much revenue Limbaugh's show brings in.

Clear Channel's parent company was taken private in 2008 by private equity firms Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital.

Some of Limbaugh's most controversial statements.
  • Rush Limbaugh on Sandra Fluke

  • Rush Limbaugh mocks Hu Jintao

    Limbaugh mocked China's president Hu Jintao in nonsense, ersatz Chinese.

  • Rush Limbaugh's Michael J. Fox allegations

    Limbaugh claimed that Michael J. Fox was "exaggerating" the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in a political ad where he advocated stem cell research. Limbaugh said:

    He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. ... This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting.

  • Rush Limbaugh "phony soldiers" statement

    In 2007, Limbaugh was criticized for referring to veterans who support the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq as "phony soldiers." He later claimed that he had been referring to people who claimed to be veterans but never actually served in the military.

  • Rush Limbaugh: "I hope Obama fails"

    On the eve of Obama's inauguration, Limbaugh said, "I hope he fails." He later doubled down on those comments at CPAC 2009, and on his radio show a few months later, and in 2011.

  • Rush Limbaugh: "Barack The Magic Negro"

    In 2007 and 2008, Limbaugh played a song by "Barack the Magic Negro" that was written and recorded for his show. In the song, political satirist Paul Shanklin impersonates Al Sharpton singing that white people will vote for Barack Obama "'cause he's not from the hood."

  • Limbaugh laughs about Japanese earthquake victims

    In the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami in March 2011, Limbaugh said:

    The Japanese have done so much to save the planet. He's right. They've given us the Prius. Even now, refugees are still recycling their garbage, and yet Gaia levels them [laughs], just wipes them out. Wipes out their nuclear plants, all kinds of radiation. What kind of payback is this? That is an excellent question.

  • Rush Limbaugh dubs new Triple-Double Oreo the 'Obameo'

    In October 2011, Limbaugh described Kraft's new Triple Double Oreo as a "bi-racial cookie" and an "Or-Ba-Meo." This was not the first time Limbaugh has compared President Obama to an Oreo cookie. In a 2009 segment about food safety advocates, he said, "After that, they're gonna want the Oreos -- might have to put off until Obama's out of office."

  • Limbaugh: Media Can't Decide If Moochelle Obama Was Booed At NASCAR Race

    In November 2011, Limbaugh accused Michelle Obama -- whom he frequently refers to as Moochelle -- of "uppityism" after she and Jill Biden were booed by NASCAR fans.

  • Limbaugh: Democrats Behind Loughner

    Limbaugh said, "What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that... the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim."

  • Limbaugh: "Driving Miss Nancy" is Rep. Jim Clyburn's new position

    In November 2010, Limbaugh suggested that Rep. Jim Clyburn could chauffeur Nancy Pelosi if he failed to win the race for House minority whip. "He gets to keep the car. He gets to go everywhere she goes, parties and everything else," Limbaugh said. "He's not in the back of the bus. He's in the driver's seat, and she's in the back of the car being chauffeured. Solved problem."

  • Limbaugh attacks Michelle Obama over her weight

    Rush Limbaugh attacked Michelle Obama for her weight, calling her out for eating ribs on a trip with her daughters. "The problem is, and I dare say this, it doesn't look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice," Limbaugh said. "And then we hear that she's out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving and 141 grams of fat per serving." He continued, "I'm trying to say our first lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months, or what have you."

  • Rush Limbaugh: "You Had Better Look Like An Ethiopian"

    Rush Limbaugh was back with another hit out on Michelle Obama's weight, days after criticizing her eating ribs while on vacation. This time, his comment was even more incendiary. "The point is, if you'ree going to do this, if you are going to tell everyone to eat twigs and berries and gravel and all this other stuff, you had better look like an Ethiopian."

  • Rush Limbaugh: Herman Cain Could Be Our First Authentically Black President

    After Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll, Limbaugh said that if elected president, "Herman Cain could be our first authentically black president." After explaining the comment to a caller, Limbaugh turned to his call screen "Bo Snerdley" (real name James Golden) for an Ebonics skit. RNC chair Michael Steele later called the skit "stupid."

  • Rush Limbaugh On Democrats Having Abortions

    In February 2012, Limbaugh reacted to the national debate about contraception with on a long rant about contraception, abortions and women. He alleged that Planned Parenthood is "a money-laundering operation for the Democrat party," and said, "The vast majority of people having abortions are Democrat voters."

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Filed by Katherine Fung  |