No rush to judgement on talk radio

20.03.2012

Rush Limbaugh is a bully and a boor, so my cup of schadenfreude runneth over in the knowledge that he is losing advertisers left and right. According to a piece appearing in the Huffington Post, an additional 31 marketers have left the show, bringing the total to well over a hundred. (Depending on the source, the numbers vary.) Apparently, they have all–from Carbonite to Progressive Insurance–suddenly realized their ad money is underwriting “offensive or controversial” content. Really? They just learned this? It’s great they’ve all gotten wisdom, but where have they been all this time? Had they never asked their media planners and buyers and ad agencies where their spots were running? Did they never listen for themselves? We can–and should–condemn Rush for his hate speech but one could argue his sponsors have not exactly covered themselves in glory. They may have been looking for ratings, but may have ended up damaging their brands’ image by not doing their due diligence in the first place, associating with an unsavory “entertainer” and taking their own sweet time in boycotting the program. When it comes to the power of talk, the moral is: Buyer beware.

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