Advertisers Flee O'Reilly Show Amid Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

Advertisers Flee O'Reilly Show Amid Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

- in Business
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Fox News is in a jam this week as major automakers and smaller outfits pull their ads from the network’s popular “O’Reilly Factor” show, following a series of sexual harassment claims against host Bill O’Reilly.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi all yanked their ads after a New York Times investigation that surfaced five sexual harassment cases against the political pundit.

They were joined Tuesday by pharmaceutical makers GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer, Sanofi Consumer Care, insurer Allstate, asset management firm T. Rowe Price, and personal finance company Credit Karma.

Orkin, a pest control company; Untuckit, a men’s clothing line; Ancestry.com, a family history service; Constant Contact, an email marketer; and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, the parent company of the Rachel Ray-endorsed dog food brand Nutrish, also announced they were pulling ads.

In total, at least 16 advertisers have so far withdrawn support.

Fox News said in a statement Tuesday that it values its ad partners and was “working with them to address their current concerns about the O’Reilly Factor. At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”

O’Reilly has denied the claims have merit — but that hasn’t stopped the sponsor pullback. The show draws 4 million viewers nightly and generated $446 million in advertising from 2014 to 2016, according to research firm Kantar Media.

“In light of the recent New York Times investigation, BMW of North America has suspended its advertising with ‘The O’Reilly Factor,'” a BMW spokesperson announced late Tuesday morning.

Mercedes-Benz said in an emailed statement that its advertising on the show “has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy.”

Related: Roger Ailes Scandal: Another High-Profile Pundit‬‬ Hits Fox News With Sexual Harassment Suit

“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” added spokeswoman Donna Boland.

Hyundai said in a statement Tuesday it will remove its upcoming advertising on O’Reilly’s show, citing the “recent and disturbing allegations.”

“Inclusivity and support for women are important Allstate values. We are concerned about the issues surrounding the program and we have suspended our advertising,” said Allstate Insurance Company spokesman Justin Herndon on Tuesday.

The Times reported that the five women have received settlement payments totaling $13 million from either Fox or O’Reilly himself.

“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,” said O’Reilly in a statement on Saturday. He noted that during his two decade-long tenure no one had filed a complaint about him with the Human Resources Department.




Bill O'Reilly

Bill O’Reilly