Rush Limbaugh Advertiser Exodus Continues as 22 Companies Pull Ads
The Rush Limbaugh advertiser exodus continued Tuesday with at least two more companies adding their names to the rapidly growing list of advertisers that have pulled commercials from the conservative talk radio host's show.
So far, at least 17 advertisers and two radio stations have pledged to wipe their ads from the show after Limbaugh called Georgetown law school student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified before Congress about insurance coverage of contraception last week. Five additional companies have said their ads aired by mistake during Limbaugh's program and vowed to scrub their ads from Limbaugh's three-hour time slot.
The list now includes: Geico, Netflix, Service Magic home contractor, Goodwill, Amberen menopause medication, PolyCom web conferencing, Hadeed Carpets, Accuquote Life Insurance, Vitacost vitamin supplier, Bonobos clothing company, Sensa weight- loss program, Thompson Creek Windows, AOL, Tax Resolution Services, ProFlowers, Legal Zoom online document creator, Carbonite web security firm, Citrix software maker, Sleep Train Mattresses, Sleep Number mattresses and Quicken Loans.
"To put it frankly, Mr. Limbaugh's recent comments have been unsettling, and many of our fans have voiced concern that Vitacost endorses these views," Vitacost posted on its Facebook page. "These comments are definitely not in line with our brand values, and in listening to our fans we've decided to remove our advertising from the program."
Limbaugh's comments have ignited a firestorm of fury online, sparking "Stop Rush" websites, a "Boycott Rush" Twitter hashtag, an anti-Rush twitter handle and a petition signed by more than 400,000 people calling on advertisers to abandon the show.
But while dozens of companies are trying to distance themselves from Limbaugh's incendiary comments, one company has flocker to the conservative commentator. The online dating website SeekingArrangement.com, whose mission is to match subscribers with wealthy "Sugar Daddies," said Tuesday that it has made a new ad buy specifically during Limbaugh's program.
Brandon Wade, the founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com, said he decided to support Limbaugh because he apologized for calling Fluke a "prostitute," an insult, Wade said, that "many in the mainstream media" have used to describe the women who use his dating site.
"Many will question why we are supporting Rush Limbaugh even though he is guilty of using the same terms that many in mainstream media have used to describe Sugar Babies," Wade said in a statement Tuesday. "There are three good reasons. First, the right to free speech should never be subjected to boycott. Second, Limbaugh's show appeals to the largest Sugar Daddy demographic. Third, while many in the mainstream media have yet to apologize for mistakenly calling Sugar Babies prostitutes, Rush Limbaugh did."
While Limbaugh's apology was sufficient for Wade, it fell short on the sincerity scale for the woman he insulted.
"I don't think that a statement like this issued, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything, and especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors that have begun to pull their support," said the 30-year-old Fluke.
While Limbaugh apologized to Fluke again on his show Monday, he steered clear of the controversy on his program Tuesday.