Pull advertising for Political reasons?

62 replies
Ok... first, no discussion about actual politics or who you think is right or wrong. I'm focused on the marketing and business aspects of this...

An advertiser is mostly just looking for sales. What happens if the outlet from which you are getting good leads does something that causes people to start writing to you and / or starting a boycott campaign against you?

Do you bend to pressure and pull out?
Do you stay and withstand the pressure?

Remember, you are getting lots of leads and business from this source and would hate to lose it, but the boycott and noise is already having an impact. People are leaving you and citing your advertising choice as a reason.

What do you do?
#advertising #political #pull #reasons
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    No easy answer to this. If it came down to business or personal principals I would like to think I'd go with principals. But then again, I've never been tempted with a big enough prize for compromising.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Olson
    I think you need to make a business decision. If advertising on that site is starting to cost you more than you earn, it is time to pull the plug. And you don't want to wait until you see the effect on the bottom line. Anticipate rather than react--if you can sense the momentum of the boycott is going to have a negative impact, don't wait.
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    There has been a lot of press on this topic this week. Rush said something that didn't jive with some groups and advertisers got threatened. Some caved. Some did not.

    Any business that advertises on a controversial show, like Rush or Stern, must know some topics will not sit well with some folks. If you pay money to support a show that thrives on controversy, then why would you pull your ads when the host says something controversial?

    On the other hand, if the show (or web site) does something or supports something that is out of whack with your personal beliefs, you have a decision to make. Did they do what they did to further enhance ratings or are they on a mission to do something immoral?

    Some organizations use the threat of boycotts as nothing more than a publicity stunt or to garner more attention for their own cause. It reminds me of a type of terrorism and there is a reason most governments will not negotiate with terrorists. You give in to their demands once, and they will keep coming back for more.
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    • Profile picture of the author Palusko
      But the same rules apply to the audience. If I listen to a controversial show, I expect that some things will just rub me wrong way. And that's fine. Thare's definitely value in the controversy, as long as it is supported by some arguments and/or logic.
      The problems start, when the controversy turns into an idiotic, offensive rant. And in such case, I'd pull the ads, or, as a listener, just ignore the show.

      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      Any business that advertises on a controversial show, like Rush or Stern, must know some topics will not sit well with some folks. If you pay money to support a show that thrives on controversy, then why would you pull your ads when the host says something controversial?
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      If you pay money to support a show that thrives on controversy, then why would you pull your ads when the host says something controversial?
      Because it's business.

      I don't run ads based on political loyalties. I run them based on cold, hard cash.

      Should I continue to advertise on a show which is the centre of a controversy?

      How much money is it making me?

      Assuming a statement doesn't conflict with my core values, that's all that matters. I have a core value of honesty and ethics in business. If you say something controversial that violates this core value, I have to stand by the core value.

      If I make more money by saying "I support this controversial statement and will continue advertising," I'll do that.

      If I make more money by saying "that statement is outrageous and I will pull my advertising," I'll do that.

      Most of the companies involved in the Rush Limbaugh issue don't have a dog in the fight. A lot of people are applauding Carbonite for pulling their advertising. What is the core value of the Carbonite backup service that led them to do so?

      I'll tell you what it is: Carbonite customers are mostly geeks. And geeks are very heavily opposed to prejudice in all its forms. Carbonite undoubtedly made money by saying they will pull their advertising... but the people who applaud that decision will probably never notice if Carbonite doesn't do squat and continues to advertise there.

      Because most geeks are not conservatives. They are probably not even listening to the show. And those who are will probably applaud Carbonite for continuing to advertise there... with their wallets.

      Carbonite will probably make more money by saying they're pulling the ads, then not pulling them.

      Time will tell whether this is what they're doing or not.
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


        I'll tell you what it is: Carbonite customers are mostly geeks. And geeks are very heavily opposed to prejudice in all its forms.
        Except when it comes from Ed Schultz, who also called a woman a slut not too long ago. Apparently Carbonite and the geeks were ok with it though, because Carbonite still advertises there.
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  • Profile picture of the author rooze
    1 - If I'm placing ads on a website or with a person who begins to engage in some morally/ethically questionable activity, I pull the ads.
    In the short term I may take a hit but in the longer term it's good for my conscience and my business.

    2 - If I happen to agree with the actions/statements which are leading to the vitriolic feedback, then I have to wager my own principals against the health of my business.

    I can take a stand with the offensive party (the one causing the offense) and risk hurting my business, or I can walk away from them and risk becoming weakened as a person, one who doesn't stand up for the things I believe in.

    So if it falls under point 2, there isn't a stock answer. Each case would have to be considered based upon how strongly I feel about the particular issue.
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  • Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

    Remember, you are getting lots of leads and business from this source and would hate to lose it, but the boycott and noise is already having an impact. People are leaving you and citing your advertising choice as a reason.

    What do you do?
    I would stay the course. It's not a difficult decision at all for me.

    But then, I'm probably older than you and have seen this sort of kerfuffle countless times.

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    • Profile picture of the author moneyroom
      I'm older too and this is an easy one. Stick to your principles and follow your gut. Every time I went against my gut I got into trouble. Follow your instincts. You know what's right and what's wrong. For you. Some people have a hard time with that.

      Think about it this way. What would you have or want someone else do if the roles were reversed. Golden rule time. And not the rule about the guy with the gold rules. :-)
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      • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
        My background is in developing consumer products (the kind you buy in stores) and believe it or not, those "fringe" groups have a hugely disproportionate influence on what companies and adverstisers will or won't do.

        I ran into this in spades on a product that would have been the perfect candidate for "irradiating" (a process where the food is subjected to Cobalt 60 and the radiation kills the harmful pathogens, wikilink) and found out there is a group who are exremely vocal to the point of being disruptive whenever this process is being considered for use by major food manufacturers.

        The outcry over microwave ovens is in that same vein, yet many of us use microwave ovens on a daily basis. (If you're one of those people do us all a favor and keep your unscientific views on the subject in check and just bowl us over with proven facts if you feel the need.)

        The point is, it only takes a very small percentage of people to make huge differences on socially volatile issues and the reality in the marketplace is you need to take this into account. Like it or loathe it, perception is overwhelmingly more potent than fact.

        If advertisers fear a bottomline hiccup over what's hot in the minds of those who live to grind an ax they will make proactive moves to mitigate the mob. In most instances they are basing these judgements on past history over previous issues that have surfaced impacting their bottom line. In other words, this isn't their first dance.

        And as is often the case, once the firestorm is over many advertisers will re-evaluate the cost of association and renew their contracts because the relationship outside of the debacle proved to be a solid one.

        Besides, the public memory only lasts until the next biggie hits the radar.

        ~Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

    Remember, you are getting lots of leads and business from this source and would hate to lose it, but the boycott and noise is already having an impact. People are leaving you and citing your advertising choice as a reason.
    Are you still getting enough leads and business from this source?

    I have a line. That line is 500% ROI. So if I spend $50 on an ad, I expect to get $300 in business from it. That's my original $50 back, plus $250 in additional business.

    If I am not getting that much business from an ad, I don't run the ad anymore.

    Similarly, if I'm getting 800% ROI from an ad ($450 in the example above), and that ROI starts dropping... I evaluate other options.

    While I am satisfied to get $300 in business from that ad, if I used to get $450 in business and it drops to $350, I will begin to question whether I could still get the original $450 in business from a similar ad elsewhere.

    If I can, I'll move my ad.

    I don't have any loyalty to an advertising outlet. It's a business arrangement; I don't owe them that $50 ad, any more than they owe me the $450 in business. I run my ads where the return meets my expectations and is comparable to my alternatives.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    Ethics aside...

    From a straight business perspective I think it comes down to if you think those that don't like what was said by a person you are sponsoring will organize and be able to cost you more than you make by sticking with the person.

    In today's social world, It's pretty easy for something to get out of hand pretty fast. If a couple thousand people jump onto a bandwagon, that can balloon into a million very quick.

    Basically I think it comes down to how easily you think you can contain / silence those that are inflamed by a comment. If an advertiser thinks they can compartmentalize the ticked off people and not allow them to affect other major segments of their clients / prospects they will keep on advertising.

    Of course the ethics of such things should be seriously considered as well as whether the comments / actions were an aberration or actually the way a person thinks
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

    Ok... first, no discussion about actual politics or who you think is right or wrong. I'm focused on the marketing and business aspects of this...

    An advertiser is mostly just looking for sales. What happens if the outlet from which you are getting good leads does something that causes people to start writing to you and / or starting a boycott campaign against you?

    Do you bend to pressure and pull out?
    Do you stay and withstand the pressure?

    Remember, you are getting lots of leads and business from this source and would hate to lose it, but the boycott and noise is already having an impact. People are leaving you and citing your advertising choice as a reason.

    What do you do?
    First, do you AGREE with the protesters, or DISAGREE with them? Without knowing the particular political issue involved, the best we can do is sort of generalize in a non specific sort of way. You know. BS. ;-)

    I'm assuming you don't agree with the protesters... Otherwise I think you'd be pursuing your own discussions with your lead source. So in that light....

    While I would love to say that you should be able do business with someone without necessarily endorsing their politics, and you should be able to make a rational statement about why maintaing that business relationship doesn't mean you agree with the politics.... The reality is that the vast majority of politically motivated people are absolutely NOT interested in any rational discourse. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can reason with them. They are on a crusade to blame, punish, and destroy if possible, anyone and anything that they disagree with.

    Ultimately, if this source of leads is producing more sales than it is costing you in boycotts, then you'll probably want to maintain it. If it's costing you more in boycotts than it's making you in sales, then you MAY want to discontinue it, at least temporarily.

    If you personally agree with the protestors, then all the more reason to cut the relationship. But if, as I assume, you disagree with them and are just worried about the impact on the bottom line, then maybe you will maintain the relationship, and try cultivating sales and leads from "like minded customers" by making your own political statements. Of course, when you fight fire with fire, you have to be careful not to burn the whole house down.

    If the partner isn't really doing anything wrong, and it's just a temporary flare up of political opposition, then you could just sit tight until it blows over. Or you and your lead source can "mutually agree to suspend the relationship" temporarily. Then when the news blows over, go back to doing whatever it is you want to do. This also encourages the partner to stay the hell outta the news and stop antagonizing the protesters!

    Oh, and btw... Just file away a little mental note of how much the bozo protesters have cost you. That's a debt, not a loss. If the opportunity should ever happen to present itself to collect on that debt, make sure you do. Double if possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
      I'll never understand why advertisers cave to this pressure. Let's be realistic, the only people that are really "outraged" are the people that are on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Everyone in the middle likely just thinks that Rush went over the line.The people applying pressure to the advertisers, are the vocal minority. The website dailykos.com has lots of active readers. With 25K (or whatever) active readers, they can make A LOT of noise with just them.

      The only people targeting advertisers, are the ones that "work" on the opposite end of the political spectrum (as Rush). It doesn't take much research to realize that they are actively campaigning to take him down....and if you do any research at all, you realize that they probably weren't your customers anyways. In other words, they were already boycotting you for even advertising on Rush.

      Daily Kos: Rush's anti-sponsorship drive -- Netflix and Kroger edition UPDATE w/ win!
      Daily Kos: IL Jeweler is Rush Sponsor on WLS AM - Contact Them Now
      Daily Kos: Rush Advertisers in Portland, OR
      Daily Kos: ACTION: Go after the radio stations! (updated)


      So let's say you pull your ads....who do you please?

      People in the middle who think Rush went over the line probably never knew you advertised with Rush. Don't know, don't care.

      People on the left (in this case) probably dislike you for even advertising on his show to being with. Maybe you saved some customers though.

      People on the right (in this case) e.g. The audience. In the case of Carbonite, do you honestly think that Rush's fans won't revolt and cancel on them? Rush is a VERY good salesman and has sold that product well. It's also all trackable (through his coupon codes). Carbonite spent YEARS selling to the Limbaugh program, only to flush that money down the drain when they abandoned him like that.

      So in the end, they didn't effect the middle (weren't paying attention).

      They didn't (really) effect the left, because they probably viewed them with contempt anyways.

      They ended up pissing off the people that they spent years cultivating.

      Very dumb move if you ask me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Morris4mCA
      I will go with my Principles, Money come and go. Principles once lost cant be get back. I will like to loose money rather than my principles.
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      • Profile picture of the author agc
        Originally Posted by Morris4mCA View Post

        I will go with my Principles, Money come and go. Principles once lost cant be get back. I will like to loose money rather than my principles.
        I agree, but what I won't do is lose money because of other people's principles.

        Edit: At least not voluntarily.
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        One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

        Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You bet I'd pull the ads from Rush Limbaugh's program. But I would have never advertised with him to start with.

    You have to decide if you want your brand associated with that type of show. If you do, expect that some customers will be offended. Your choice. Stick with Rush or offend your customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
      I'd be extremely curious to see the sales figures he brings in for his advertisers. Especially for the bigger name ones that had the "personalized" ads read by Rush on the air e.g. sleep number, carbonite, citrix, etc.

      All those were long-running ads that were track-able. So one would have to assume that they were making a hefty return.

      I don't know. I think it was a really stupid move by the sponsors to drop him. They knew what they were in for. Now Limbaugh can wait a few weeks, take that data to the competitor, and make the pitch. It's not like any of those services are really unique in any way.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    If you're being attacked for vile remarks about a young women and losing all your advertisers, what should you do?

    Well, attack another young women, of course. lol. Idiot.

    Here's The Woman Rush Limbaugh Is Attacking Today; 'Totally Bizarre,' She Says - Forbes
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      If you're being attacked for vile remarks about a young women and losing all your advertisers, what should you do?

      Well, attack another young women, of course. lol. Idiot.

      Here's The Woman Rush Limbaugh Is Attacking Today; 'Totally Bizarre,' She Says - Forbes
      Please don't take this in a political direction. We really don't care about your political views.

      I know you are smart enough to add something to the conversation from a marketing perspective.
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

        Please don't take this in a political direction. We really don't care about your political views.

        I know you are smart enough to add something to the conversation from a marketing perspective.
        I didn't say a thing that is political. This is obviously about a person that is a well known political figure, so you assume my remarks had some political bias.

        My remarks are relevant. If you have made a stupid mistake and have lost all your advertisers over it, double down and make another similar stupid mistake.

        There, is that better?
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        • Profile picture of the author agc
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          I didn't say a thing that is political. This is obviously about a person that is a well known political figure, so you assume my remarks had some political bias.

          My remarks are relevant. If you have made a stupid mistake and have lost all your advertisers over it, double down and make another similar stupid mistake.

          There, is that better?
          I dunno, but Rush is no spring chicken. He's been through this plenty of times before.

          He lost some advertisers over some controversy.

          What's the _smartest_ thing for him to do? Well since being a pompous jackass is how he's made his living for the last 20 years, he already knows that being a pompous jackass won't really have any long term downside. So he intentionally ups the intensity on the pompous jackass channel.

          He'll make as much controversy as possible, drive as much media attention as possible, so that when his sales team goes to sell that ad space that just came available, they have "big numbers" to show the new clients.

          The advertisers will most likely be replaced with new advertisers at HIGHER rates.

          And the outraged sheeple following his plan just make him even more money.
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        • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
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          • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
            Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

            Rush Limbaugh is not a political figure. Never has been never will be. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer, a well paid entertainer at that.
            Sure, he's an entertainer and no a political figure. In the last week, he prompted a national firestorm on every political blog, he prompted the POTUS to call the victim, and every GOP figure was forced to field questions on him.

            Reminds me of when Michael Steele (charman of the RNC) made similar comments, he was forced to apologize one day later.
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        • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
          Banned
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          If you're being attacked for vile remarks about a young women and losing all your advertisers, what should you do? Well, attack another young women, of course. lol. Idiot.
          He didn't lose all his advertisers over it. In the grand scheme of things, he didn't lose any. I think his "attack" on the woman today pretty much confirms it. Sorry, but he's not the idiot you imagine him to be. Guess you poor libs will have to try to come up with some other way to get him off the air, lol.

          And please, stop with the innocent young girl implication. The original "girl" is a 30 year old lying political activist with an agenda. If we're to take offense at anything, it should be her ridiculous testimony.
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          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

            He didn't lose all his advertisers over it. In the grand scheme of things, he didn't lose any. I think his "attack" on the woman today pretty much confirms it. Sorry, but he's not the idiot you imagine him to be. Guess you poor libs will have to try to come up with some other way to get him off the air, lol.

            And please, stop with the innocent young girl implication. The original "girl" is a 30 year old lying political activist with an agenda. If we're to take offense at anything, it should be her ridiculous testimony.
            I said he lost 35 (now 45) advertisers ... not all. I don't care what she is, calling her a slut, a prostitute and requesting sex videos is not an environment that I would my advertising to be shown on.

            As for Ed ... yeah, and he aired a 9 minute, extremely sincere apology and self suspended himself without pay from his show for a week. She accepted his apology. Limbaugh's apology was anything but sincere.
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            • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

              I said he lost 35 (now 45) advertisers ... not all. I don't care what she is, calling her a slut, a prostitute and requesting sex videos is not an environment that I would my advertising to be shown on.

              As for Ed ... yeah, and he aired a 9 minute, extremely sincere apology and self suspended himself without pay from his show for a week. She accepted his apology. Limbaugh's apology was anything but sincere.
              Rush had a 100M signing bonus and a $400M contract. Guaranteed. On top of that, he has advertisers that he owns/sells and pitches himself on the air (citrix, carbonite, Leer Capital, Lifelock, Hillsdale College, etc). Those advertisers are just gravy for Rush.

              All the other ads are sold by radio stations and literally have 0 effect on Rush or his pocketbook. They are sold by the radio stations themselves. And most of the time, the advertisers have no clue where they're ads are going to be placed in the lineup.

              Rush's program, when it comes down to it, is a goldmine for local radio stations. The fee they play to air it is a drop in the bucket compared to the ads they can sell. Stations don't drop guaranteed money makers.

              Lots of hub-bub about all these advertisers leaving, but the guy has repeatedly said over the years that advertisers are lining up to advertise on his show, but he has no space. Rush will replace the ones that left, probably with their competitors. And Rush has 600 stations across the US carrying his show....each station has it's own set of advertisers.

              Rush is not going anywhere. And his sponsors are idiots for dropping their ads, assuming they were making money.
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              • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                Banned
                Originally Posted by Ryan David View Post

                Rush had a 100M signing bonus and a $400M contract. Guaranteed. On top of that, he has advertisers that he owns/sells and pitches himself on the air (citrix, carbonite, Leer Capital, Lifelock, Hillsdale College, etc). Those advertisers are just gravy for Rush.

                All the other ads are sold by radio stations and literally have 0 effect on Rush or his pocketbook. They are sold by the radio stations themselves. And most of the time, the advertisers have no clue where they're ads are going to be placed in the lineup.

                Rush's program, when it comes down to it, is a goldmine for local radio stations. The fee they play to air it is a drop in the bucket compared to the ads they can sell. Stations don't drop guaranteed money makers.

                Lots of hub-bub about all these advertisers leaving, but the guy has repeatedly said over the years that advertisers are lining up to advertise on his show, but he has no space. Rush will replace the ones that left, probably with their competitors. And Rush has 600 stations across the US carrying his show....each station has it's own set of advertisers.

                Rush is not going anywhere. And his sponsors are idiots for dropping their ads, assuming they were making money.

                Thanks for that useful info about Rush Limbaugh, which I'm sure I could have found on Wikipedia. That isn't the point how much he makes and blah blah blah. The question was asked if it's wise to pull ads for political reasons.

                Personally, I could care less what happens to RL. I'd just as soon he stays on the air as I have a RL satire parody blog and he provides a wealth of new material for it.

                Companies have to decide if material is in alignment with their core values when they place ads. Similarly, I would not place advertising on porn sites. Bashing a woman in the way he did for 3 straight days is not an image I would want my company to be aligned with in any way.
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                • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
                  Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                  Thanks for that useful info about Rush Limbaugh, which I'm sure I could have found on Wikipedia. That isn't the point how much he makes and blah blah blah. The question was asked if it's wise to pull ads for political reasons.

                  Personally, I could care less what happens to RL. I'd just as soon he stays on the air as I have a RL satire parody blog and he provides a wealth of new material for it.

                  Companies have to decide if material is in alignment with their core values when they place ads. Similarly, I would not place advertising on porn sites. Bashing a woman in the way he did for 3 straight days is not an image I would want my company to be aligned with in any way.
                  You could've, but you didn't bother. Instead you just made assumptions that the loss of advertisers was hitting his bottom line.

                  You also didn't think about the fact that there is a shortage of "RUsh Ads" so there is no shortage of demand.
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                  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by Ryan David View Post

                    You could've, but you didn't bother. Instead you just made assumptions that the loss of advertisers was hitting his bottom line.

                    You also didn't think about the fact that there is a shortage of "RUsh Ads" so there is no shortage of demand.
                    No actually, I didn't make assumptions. It is irrelevant to me and to this thread. Political discussions aren't allowed on the WF, so the relevant facts to me are whether or not you should pull advertising from a site that is not aligned with your company's core principles.

                    Of course, I do fully understand that some companies have no principles.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
                      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                      No actually, I didn't make assumptions. It is irrelevant to me and to this thread. Political discussions aren't allowed on the WF, so the relevant facts to me are whether or not you should pull advertising from a site that is not aligned with your company's core principles.

                      Of course, I do fully understand that some companies have no principles.
                      You must've thought I was being political because I was referencing a political figure.

                      And I understand some companies have no principles. And there are other companies that only have "principles" when a statement is made by someone on the opposite end of the political spectrum.
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                    • Profile picture of the author agc
                      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                      No actually, I didn't make assumptions. It is irrelevant to me and to this thread. Political discussions aren't allowed on the WF, so the relevant facts to me are whether or not you should pull advertising from a site that is not aligned with your company's core principles.

                      Of course, I do fully understand that some companies have no principles.
                      Your actions are inconsistent with your words.

                      You had no problem being first to really inject negatively biased language into the discussion... labeling "idiots" and "that kind of show" and so forth.

                      Yet now when it conveniently suits your purposes you want to step back and hide behind the rule.

                      One could describe that character trait as "tactful".

                      Of course, one could also describe it as "hypocritical", "disingenuous", or "delusional".

                      Somehow, given the context, I suspect one of the latter rather than the former.
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                      One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

                      Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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                      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                        Banned
                        Originally Posted by agc View Post

                        Your actions are inconsistent with your words.

                        You had no problem being first to really inject negatively biased language into the discussion... labeling "idiots" and "that kind of show" and so forth.

                        Yet now when it conveniently suits your purposes you want to step back and hide behind the rule.

                        One could describe that character trait as "tactful".

                        Of course, one could also describe it as "hypocritical", "disingenuous", or "delusional".

                        Somehow, given the context, I suspect one of the latter rather than the former.
                        Bull Sh*&. This thread is specifically about Rush Limbaugh who went on a 3-day vile rampage against a woman who's political beliefs differ from his. He called her a slut, a prostitute and requested sex tapes for his viewing amusement. If you don't find that offensive and you want to place ads on this "show", I hear there are openings.

                        Whether Limbaugh were a political figure or just an ordinary jackas&& would make no difference to me. I would not want my company aligned with those principles.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
                          This might prove to be a good read for some of you...

                          How Much Money The Rush Limbaugh Ad Boycott Will Shift

                          Keep in mind Business Insider is to journalism what William Hung is to singers...

                          ~Bill
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                          • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
                            For every advertiser dropping off, there are probably 10 that see this as a great opportunity to get in front of a loyal audience. I give it a few weeks to get those customers lined up and on air. No big deal.
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                        • Profile picture of the author agc
                          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                          Bull Sh*&. This thread is specifically about Rush Limbaugh who went on a 3-day vile rampage against a woman who's political beliefs differ from his. He called her a slut, a prostitute and requested sex tapes for his viewing amusement. If you don't find that offensive and you want to place ads on this "show", I hear there are openings.

                          Whether Limbaugh were a political figure or just an ordinary jackas&& would make no difference to me. I would not want my company aligned with those principles.
                          Bull Sh*&.

                          This thread is specifically NOT about about Rush Limbaugh or any other specific politics. Or at least wasn't supposed to be. Then the politically motivated, ie YOU, chose to turn it into that. It was supposed to be a generic hypothetical discussion of the ethics in the relationship between advertiser and venue.

                          The first line of the first post: "Ok... first, no discussion about actual politics or who you think is right or wrong. I'm focused on the marketing and business aspects of this..."

                          If you can't even bother to read as far as the first line of the first post, how can you possibly expect to contribute positively to someone's idea and discussion?

                          You can't and you had no intention to.

                          Your entire goal was to find a way to inject your personal sense of outrage into the discussion even though the OP went out of his way remind you not to.

                          Excellent contribution to a rational discussion. Not.
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                          One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

                          Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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                          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                            Banned
                            Originally Posted by agc View Post

                            Bull Sh*&.

                            This thread is specifically NOT about about Rush Limbaugh or any other specific politics. Or at least wasn't supposed to be. Then the politically motivated, ie YOU, chose to turn it into that. It was supposed to be a generic hypothetical discussion of the ethics in the relationship between advertiser and venue.
                            Are you really that naive? Gee, coming days into the Rush scandal that has taken the Internet by storm with a warning not to discuss it in political terms ... gee. I wonder what inspired the Pull advertising for political reasons thread. Hmmm ... that's a tough one.
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                            • Profile picture of the author agc
                              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                              Are you really that naive? Gee, coming days into the Rush scandal that has taken the Internet by storm with a warning not to discuss it in political terms ... gee. I wonder what inspired the Pull advertising for political reasons thread. Hmmm ... that's a tough one.
                              Yes I really am "naive" enough to expect that it is possible to discuss a subject that is currently in the news in an abstract philosophical sense.

                              Not only am I naive enough to expect it, if you look back you'll see that my original response on the matter did exactly, proving that it is in fact possible. I made no mention of the specifics of the actual incident that inspired the OP to want to discuss the subject.

                              Are you really saying that you should be given a free pass to wreck an philosophical discussion because you're just to too stupid to have said philosophical discussion without having to make it about your own personal politics? Really? That's the best you can aspire to?
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                              One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

                              Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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                              • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                Banned
                                Originally Posted by agc View Post

                                Yes I really am "naive" enough to expect that it is possible to discuss a subject that is currently in the news in an abstract philosophical sense.

                                Not only am I naive enough to expect it, if you look back you'll see that my original response on the matter did exactly, proving that it is in fact possible. I made no mention of the specifics of the actual incident that inspired the OP to want to discuss the subject.

                                Are you really saying that you should be given a free pass to wreck an philosophical discussion because you're just to too stupid to have said philosophical discussion without having to make it about your own personal politics? Really? That's the best you can aspire to?
                                If I were discussing it in political terms, I would have said things Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives etc.

                                What I said is that Rush Limbaugh is a jacka$$ and I would not want my company to be seen on a show that demeans women, and that means that I would not want my ads shown on ANY show that demeans women, gay people, minorities or any other variety of human being no matter what their political persuasion is and no matter how effective the advertising had been.
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            • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

              I said he lost 35 (now 45) advertisers ... not all. I don't care what she is, calling her a slut, a prostitute and requesting sex videos is not an environment that I would my advertising to be shown on.

              As for Ed ... yeah, and he aired a 9 minute, extremely sincere apology and self suspended himself without pay from his show for a week. She accepted his apology. Limbaugh's apology was anything but sincere.
              I agree. I remember Ed's apology. It was extremely heartfelt. Rush's apology seemed insincere in comparison.

              I think the advertisers that pulled out of Rush's show did the right thing. As a woman and the mother of a 20 year old girl, I was extremely offended by what he said. I spend a lot of money with many of his former advertisers. I spend 1000's of dollars on Land's End (Sears) and JCPenneys clothing each year. I am a Netflix member and my insurance company is Allstate. I've bought flowers 4x in the last year from Proflowers. I would have withdrawn my business from these companies had they continued to advertise on this show. As a consumer, I have a choice of which business gets my money.

              Women spend a lot of money at these businesses. These advertisers probably realized that they would end up losing a good portion of business if they didn't pull their support of the show.

              I don't think that politics should be brought up in business unless you plan on alienating some of your customers. Many people are very passionate about their political views.

              I had recently made several large purchases from a member of this board; then she posted something political on her blog that offended me. No more business from me. She has the right to say whatever she wants, but I have the right to keep my money in my pocket and spend it with another vendor. It wasn't the first time that I had to do that either. I would never discuss politics on my business blog. I wouldn't even discuss politics with my next door neighbor!
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              • Profile picture of the author agc
                Originally Posted by JeanneLynn View Post

                I think the advertisers that pulled out of Rush's show did the right thing. As a woman and the mother of a 20 year old girl, I was extremely offended by what he said. I spend a lot of money with many of his former advertisers. I spend 1000's of dollars on Land's End (Sears) and JCPenneys clothing each year. I am a Netflix member and my insurance company is Allstate. I've bought flowers 4x in the last year from Proflowers. I would have withdrawn my business from these companies had they continued to advertise on this show. As a consumer, I have a choice of which business gets my money.
                I somehow doubt you would really cancel your netflix account over this. But even if YOU would, you are in the extreme minority, so it doesn't really matter.

                Lot's of people will be outraged. Hey, people just love to be outraged. Self righteousness just plain feels good.

                But ultimately, even though thousands of people may SAY they're cancelling, may SAY they're boycotting, and hey, they may even START OUT doing it... as soon as they want Netflix so their bored kids will stop being a nuisance, or they don't want to deal with that other flower place that charges extra for daffodils instead of irises, or the online clothing place that costs more and doesn't have their favorite underwear...they'll find a way to rationalize going right back to doing whatever is convenient for them.
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                One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

                Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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                • Profile picture of the author JeanneLynn
                  Originally Posted by agc View Post

                  I somehow doubt you would really cancel your netflix account over this. But even if YOU would, you are in the extreme minority, so it doesn't really matter.

                  Lot's of people will be outraged. Hey, people just love to be outraged. Self righteousness just plain feels good.

                  But ultimately, even though thousands of people may SAY they're cancelling, may SAY they're boycotting, and hey, they may even START OUT doing it... as soon as they want Netflix so their bored kids will stop being a nuisance, or they don't want to deal with that other flower place that charges extra for daffodils instead of irises, or the online clothing place that costs more and doesn't have their favorite underwear...they'll find a way to rationalize going right back to doing whatever is convenient for them.
                  LOL, there are alternatives to Netflix and I would have cancelled my membership if I saw them advertising on Rush. People have a choice. I'm actually very passionate about my boycotts. I have a list of what toilet paper or grocery products not to buy, what restaurants I no longer patronize, ect. The boycott doesn't have to be for political reasons. Some places are boycotted because of other reasons, like human rights violations or other unethical practices. This isn't just about Rush; he's just one example of why advertisers may pull their ads.
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                  • Profile picture of the author agc
                    Originally Posted by JeanneLynn View Post

                    LOL, there are alternatives to Netflix and I would have cancelled my membership if I saw them advertising on Rush. People have a choice. I'm actually very passionate about my boycotts. I have a list of what toilet paper or grocery products not to buy, what restaurants I no longer patronize, ect. The boycott doesn't have to be for political reasons. Some places are boycotted because of other reasons, like human rights violations or other unethical practices. This isn't just about Rush; he's just one example of why advertisers may pull their ads.
                    If you have the will power to follow through on your boycott list, then I applaud you. Whether or not I agree with your positions on the issues, I still applaud you.

                    If everyone HAD to what you do... which is to live consistently with the politics they expect others to live by, there would be a lot fewer people espousing extreme positions.
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                    One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

                    Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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  • Profile picture of the author Perestroika
    Sometimes you have to be your own Risk Management. My suggestion is simple, pull out as soon as possible before the negative boycott does more damage.
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    • Profile picture of the author agc
      Originally Posted by Perestroika View Post

      Sometimes you have to be your own Risk Management. My suggestion is simple, pull out as soon as possible before the negative boycott does more damage.
      If you had no stomach for the controversy, then your risk management has already failed by playing in the controversy arena in the first place.
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      One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

      Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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      • Profile picture of the author Perestroika
        Originally Posted by agc View Post

        If you had no stomach for the controversy, then your risk management has already failed by playing in the controversy arena in the first place.
        It is not a matter of having the stomach for the controversy. Instead its a matter if your stomach can handle lost business as a result.
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        • Profile picture of the author agc
          Originally Posted by Perestroika View Post

          It is not a matter of having the stomach for the controversy. Instead its a matter if your stomach can handle lost business as a result.
          In other words... the risk arising from controversy.
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          One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

          Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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  • Profile picture of the author TopBackBuilder
    "It's not personal, it's just business."

    There's really not much more to say on the subject. The majority of long lasting business have lived and thrived off this principle.
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    • The market has spoken. Carbonite stock is down nearly 12% this week.

      You may not care about that and heaven knows I don't -- we don't own any Carbonite stock that I know of. I can assure you the execs who hold large blocks of stock certainly care, though.

      This is why I would stay the course, keep my head down and execute the plan. If you allow yourself to get distracted, you may find you're on thin ice. The worst thing Carbonite could do now would be to try to justify their actions -- that would be another Netflix moment.

      fLufF
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        The market has spoken. Carbonite stock is down nearly 12% this week.

        You may not care about that and heaven knows I don't -- we don't own any Carbonite stock that I know of. I can assure you the execs who hold large blocks of stock certainly care, though.

        This is why I would stay the course, keep my head down and execute the plan. If you allow yourself to get distracted, you may find you're on thin ice. The worst thing Carbonite could do now would be to try to justify their actions -- that would be another Netflix moment.

        fLufF
        --
        You assume Carbonite's stock performance is related to them dropping out of Rush Limbaugh's ad program. From the sound of it, Rush Limbaugh's ad program hasn't helped this company to achieve profitability.

        Second, Carbonite is a small public company, so it has to answer to shareholders. Carbonite's share price has dropped preciptously in the last several months for reasons having nothing to do with this controversy. Going political and attacking a large segment of one's subscriber base seems like a losing business strategy, and the CEO does not have the last word on the subject.

        Third, Carbonite is in a weak financial position. In Carbonite's most recent Quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Carbonite discloses that it loses money hand over fist, and is expected to do so for the foreseeable future [note: I broke the single long paragraph down into multiple paragraphs to make it more readable]:

        Risks Related to Our Business

        We have experienced losses and negative cash flow since our inception, and we may not be able to achieve or sustain profitability or positive cash flow in the future.

        We experienced net losses of $17.4 million for 2008, $19.2 million for 2009, $25.8 million for 2010, and $17.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, respectively, and have an accumulated deficit of $94.3 million as of September 30, 2011.

        We have not generally achieved positive cash flow from our operations or reported net income, and we do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future. We expect to continue making significant expenditures to develop and expand our business, including for advertising, customer acquisition, technology infrastructure, storage capacity, product development, and international expansion, in an effort to increase and service our customer base.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          You assume Carbonite's stock performance is related to them dropping out of Rush Limbaugh's ad program. From the sound of it, Rush Limbaugh's ad program hasn't helped this company to achieve profitability.
          The CEO can say all he wants that it hasn't contributed, but the fact is that the market opened Monday (after announcement), the stock dropped 12%. Sure, the company was already on shaky ground...but that makes the move all the more stupid. What do you think investors will do when a struggling company cuts off a revenue source because of social media pressure?

          Carbonite has been advertising on Rush's program for years. Something tells me that they wouldn't continue to dump money into something unprofitable when it's easily trackable.
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  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
    Banned
    The answer really depends on how well known your company is and what the short/long-term risks associated with either decision are.

    For example, does anyone really think Apple gave a crap about worker conditions in China when they first began outsourcing production there? Not likely - and why do they give a crap about it today? Because consumer pressure forces them too.

    Does anyone really care what the typical small business online supports? Not in the least - whether I support A or B isn't going to have any significant impact on my small business.

    Would I pull advertising because of some fundamental disagreement with what the agency is supporting? There's no black and white answer - I would decide that on a case-by-case basis.

    I can say that offline, during my professional career, there were times when I passed over working with certain clients for various reasons like this.
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    • For example, does anyone really think Apple gave a crap about worker conditions in China when they first began outsourcing production there? Not likely - and why do they give a crap about it today? Because consumer pressure forces them too.

      I'm not sure I agree with that.

      It's media pressure. Consumers wouldn't know what's going on in China if no one reported it.

      And the fact of the matter is, the Foxconn suicides are not unusual when you consider the sheer volume of people that live and work at the factories. The suicide rate for Foxconn workers isn't any higher than that of the general population. But when you have media sources sensationally trumpeting only part of the story, that becomes a problem you have to deal with if you're Apple management.

      "People are committing suicide so you can have your expensive gadgets" is a narrative that can't be ignored. This, too, is a business issue.

      fLufF
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      • Profile picture of the author agc
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        And the fact of the matter is, the Foxconn suicides are not unusual when you consider the sheer volume of people that live and work at the factories. The suicide rate for Foxconn workers isn't any higher than that of the general population.
        The way you are so confidently asserting this as FACT and not OPINION, I'm sure you have solid references for this. Right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    I wouldn't be phased by it unless it were something that personally offended you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    carbonite is probably doomed anyhow do to cloud computing..

    i think it is ok to drop advertising when the people you are advertising with do something that is personally offensive ..I am conservative and think calling someone names who disagrees with you ..especially vulger names..is not called for ..

    but when you throw your advertising with someone like rush..or glenn beck or who ever ..to abandon it on one issue show you have a wishy washy stratagy..

    if bill mahar had to depend on advertisers and didn't have an open mic to say what he wanted on hbo..
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
      Carbonite advertises on a lot of radio shows, including left-wing ones. I'm not why they wouldn't just say they are interested in the relationship with the listeners, not the host. It's basically just giving the middle finger to 20M people because you disagree with what 1 person said.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Anything for a buck, seems like the bottom line to almost everyone.

    I think that if an advertising source goes against the image you want for your company they should be dropped - bucks or not. There are other places that will be more to your desired image, I'm sure. What happens when a pack of zealots that just happen to like your product decides to pull a boycott because you are not supporting an issue they want you to? Do you support it for the bucks or just tell them to take a ride?

    At some point we have to decide our stances - and be ready to take a loss for our principles if need be. Should our trade environment be just an out of control voracious money gobbling system? I think as humans we need to do better than that. We want profit - but at some point we do have social responsibility, too - we can see what happens when businesses feel no social responsibility other than to suck in every bit of wealth that they can get. MONSANTO. Want a world filled with companies like that? How long can humanity actually thrive with a world full of companies who have only one principle, only one aim, only one goal - as much money as they can get? How little attention can we give our principles before we lose all humanity and become nothing but coin machines?

    Our businesses need to profit - but we are still humans and our businesses still run on human sweat. We HAVE to draw lines at some point. It's not a matter of "IF" we have to -- it's a matter of "how far do we let it go before we react". I think about 30 - 45 businesses showed us where they have drawn the lines. It may or may not be a profitable position they have taken. They will, however, be able to sleep at night with solid conscience that they did what they thought was right to do. You make a mistake when you think business has no human side to it at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    OOPS - was writing when you posted Suzanne - but I see we both are in a close frame of mind on the situation.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
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  • Profile picture of the author smadronia
    Originally Posted by Scott Ames View Post

    Ok... first, no discussion about actual politics or who you think is right or wrong. I'm focused on the marketing and business aspects of this...

    An advertiser is mostly just looking for sales. What happens if the outlet from which you are getting good leads does something that causes people to start writing to you and / or starting a boycott campaign against you?

    Do you bend to pressure and pull out?
    Do you stay and withstand the pressure?

    Remember, you are getting lots of leads and business from this source and would hate to lose it, but the boycott and noise is already having an impact. People are leaving you and citing your advertising choice as a reason.

    What do you do?
    I guess the question is how much of an impact are we talking about? And how long has it been since people have been complaining?

    Right now, with the Rush scandal, it's hot. It happened recently, every time someone stops advertising, news gets updated, and people are reminded of what went on.

    What's going to happen in a couple weeks? Once advertisers stop dropping out, this is going to fade from people's minds, especially if something else comes up to take attention away from Rush.

    That's what I'd weigh in in choosing whether to stop advertising with a specific outlet. Also, I'd want to run the numbers: how many people are actually leaving, and how many are saying they won't use my stuff/patronize my business?

    The first folks are clients and customers, and those numbers matter. The second solks are harder to guage: are these people who would have otherwise been clients and customers, or are they folks who wouldn't patronize my services? If I'm selling cuts of meat, the vegan's club boycotting me won't change the fact they're not in target market.

    I'd probably wait it out, and see what happens. You can always drop advertising if you determine it's not in your best interests, but it's not always possible to get the advertising contract back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Good grief. I knew I should have shut this down when I first saw it.

    I always hope it will be possible for people to discuss principles without fighting over the principals. And some of you make me regret that hope, every time.
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