Boycott Rush: Netflix, Clear Channel, LifeLock Targeted As Controversy Swells (UPDATES)
UPDATE 1: A Netflix rep told the Hacking Netflix blog that it does not buy radio ad time specifically for the Limbaugh program. A Netflix spokesperson has not yet responded to our request for comment, but corporate communications VP Steve Swasey provided Read Write Web with the following statement:
Netflix has not and does not purchase advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show. We do buy network radio advertising and have confirmed that two Netflix spots were picked up in error around the Rush Limbaugh show. We have instructed our advertising agency to make sure that this error will not happen again.
UPDATE 2: Meanwhile, the Atlantic Wire has posted several updates to its original story, namely that Goodwill stated its radio spots are public service announcements, not advertisements, nor are they specifically purchased to air during Limbaugh's program.
UPDATE 3: According to Think Progress, Stamps.com, Deere & Co., St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut, Bethesda Sedation Dentistry, Cascades Dental, Allstate, Sears and Bonobos have all yanked ads from Limbaugh's show.
PREVIOUSLY: The Limbaugh "slutgate" backlash continues.
Since March 2, web users have been calling for a boycott of companies sponsoring Rush Limbaugh's popular radio program, The Rush Limbaugh Show.
The controversy began when Limbaugh on February 29 called Georgetown law student and activist Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified about birth control before a Congressional panel. On March 2, Huffington Post blogger Krystal Ball asked consumers not to support companies that advertise with Limbaugh. The same day, Reddit user Jaybercrow started a thread requesting web users to contact Limbaugh partners and urge them to pull their ads. Despite an apology issued by Limbaugh on March 3, several companies have pledged to pull ads from the controversial program.
On Monday, Jaybercrow announced phase two of the Limbaugh boycott, urging Reddit users to now focus on local radio stations that broadcast Limbaugh's show and acquire lists of smaller advertisers. "Here is what I propose," Jaybercrow wrote in the new thread, posted on March 5, "go to Rush Limbaugh's website and find who is broadcasting Rush in your city. Visit that stations website and gather the sponsors contact information. Then place that information into your local r/ thread For instance and start a thread that says "XZY City, it is time to organize... [all sic]"
Existing Limbaugh advertisers include
Netflix, Goodwill, Stamps.com, Capital One, John Deer, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Life Quotes, LifeLock and many others. (The Atlantic Wire has compiled a list of 31 companies that still support the show, as heard on a Monday broadcast of the program on D.C.'s WMAL station. Click here for AW's full list.)
Clear Channel Communications, the broadcasting conglomerate that owns Limbaugh syndicator Premier Radio Networks, has also come under fire during the uproar.
Twitter users are spreading the boycott using the hashtags #BoycottRush, #StopRush and #BoycottHate, among others. At the time of writing, three Facebook pages devoted to the boycott attracted 30,000, 28,000 and 4,500 Likes.
As of Tuesday morning, the following advertisers have dropped Limbaugh: Carbonite, Proflowers, Tax Resolution Services, Legal Zoom, Citrix Success, All State, Heart and Body Extract, AutoZone, Quicken Loans, Sleep Train, Sleep Number, Oreck, Bare Escentuals, Sensa Team and Vitacost.com. HuffPost parent company AOL also announced on Monday that it would suspend its advertising deal with the show.
At least two local radio stations ditched Limbaugh on Monday: KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii, and WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
According to the New York Times,"the ad boycott is uncomfortable but not crippling for Mr. Limbaugh, who is estimated to make $50 million a year and whose program is a profit center for Premiere Radio Networks."
Sandra Fluke on March 5 dismissed Limbaugh's apology on ABC's The View. "I don't think that a statement like this, issued saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything. Especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors, who have begun to pull support from his show," Fluke said.
Take a look through the slideshow (below) to view tweets from the advertisers who have pulled content from Limbaugh's radio program, courtesy of HuffPost Media.
Kelly@ Quicken Loans
Sleep Number Sara
Sleep Train Mattress
Aquarium of Pacific
New York Lottery
Green Mtn Coffee