Last week, after Glenn Beck called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people," we asked ColorOfChange members to call on Beck's advertisers to pull their funding from his show. More than 50,000 people have already joined the call, and today we have great news to report -- advertisers are starting to listen:
Three companies who run ads during Glenn Beck -- NexisLexis-owned Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance -- today distanced themselves from Beck. LexisNexis has pulled its advertising from Beck and says it has no plans to advertise on the program in the future. Both Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance called the Beck advertising placements an error that they would correct.
Since we released our statement announcing the news this morning, another company, S.C. Johnson (Pledge, Ziplock, Off!) told us that it was a mistake for their ads to be running on Beck's show, and that they'd make sure it wouldn't happen again in the future. (UPDATE: Our contact at S.C. Johnson wanted us to clarify that they have had no knowledge of their ad running on the Glenn Beck show (they wanted to verify this for themselves), and if it did happen, it was not something they requested.)
This is great progress, and it shows how effective it can be when thousands of people tell advertisers not to support this kind of hateful rhetoric. Now we need to step up the pressure on Beck's other advertisers. While Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance were quick to respond, many others have avoided answering us, or refused to budge. We're currently in conversations with advertisers, and the more people they see joining this campaign, the more reason they'll have to listen.
If you haven't done so already, please sign our petition to Beck's advertisers, and ask your friends and family to do the same. Moving forward, we'll keep you informed about effective ways you can pressure the advertisers to withdraw their support from Beck's show.
Here's what Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, and Progressive Insurance told us this week:
"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention," said John Michaels, Senior Communications Manager at LexisNexis in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "We have suspended further advertising during Mr. Beck's program."
"We have no plans to continue advertising on Mr. Beck's show," Michaels continued in another email.
When executives at Procter & Gamble were contacted by ColorOfChange.org, they said that any ads run during Glenn Beck were run by mistake, and that they would correct the problem going forward.
"No P&G ads should have appeared on this program in the first place," said Martha Depenbrock, Brand Building Stakeholder Relations for Procter & Gamble in an email. "To be clear, if any of our advertising appeared on the Glenn Beck show, it was in error and we appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. We will do what we can to see that it doesn't happen again."
Progressive Insurance said any ads running during Glenn Beck were a mistake by Fox News Channel -- a mistake they have asked the network to fix immediately.
"Our (advertising) order specifies no Glenn Beck," said Linda J. Harris, Media Director at Progressive Insurance in an email to ColorOfChange.org. "We have confirmed with the network that our spots should not be running there," Harris said in a later email.
The decision by these three advertisers to distance themselves from Beck should help increase the pressure on others. The writing is on the wall -- Beck should not have the backing of mainstream advertisers. If we keep the pressure on, we believe we can seriously threaten his platform.
Please join us.
Follow James Rucker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jrucker