Conversation Scares People Who Sell Things

Industry website is reporting that at least 98 advertisers, many of them large companies, want nothing to do with any “environments likely to stir negative sentiment.”  This announcement came after the recent Rush Limbaugh controversy.  A memo posted on the site spoke on behalf  of a large group of sponsors:

They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity). Those are defined as environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.”

Here are just a handful of the advertisers that are pulling out: Ford, GM, Toyota, Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm, McDonald’s, and Subway. (source: The Daily Beast)

What does this mean for the future of talk radio? It means that any talk about issues, any talk that takes sides or any talk that disagrees with anybody at all will be deemed too risky to this group of advertisers.

Read more at the


We want to know if any of this matters to you.  Is it just business and you don’t care who sponsors who and who doesn’t?  or does it matter to you who a company chooses to do business with?


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When  sponsors stay away from controversy, are they cowards?  Or are they brave and taking a stand against “offensive” behavior?


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  1. LizSetsFire

    March 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I can’t think of one product I’ve seen or hear a commercial for and thought, “I need to get that.” except maybe pajama jeans.

    • TwizzlesMcNasty

      March 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

      They are kinda expensive for what they are though aren’t they?

    • shrekkalove

      March 13, 2012 at 1:39 am

       @LizSetsFire I hear there are some sweet leather jeans out there, too! I’d buy those if I heard their advertisement.

  2. Cletus from Brooklyn

    March 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Haven’t listen to terrestrial radio in a while. I do love watching those shaking dumbbell commercials though…

  3. jerkstoresean

    March 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I have a mental block on commercials. except for because those songs make me chuckle

  4. VincentFerrari

    March 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Missing: Tom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes…What, no such thing as negative emotion stirred by a leftie? 

  5. ElectricDave

    March 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    The idiotic part about this is if you are advertising on a certain station, your product research would have had to shown that stations demographic is who you should target, and that stations demographic is not going to be offended by the hosts they LISTEN TO DAILY!!!

  6. ElectricDave

    March 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I only listened to product ads when they allowed Ronnie to do live reads, other than that commercial breaks are piss time for me

  7. Socoral

    March 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    It’s a real shame but the reality is that any successful talk radio show when subscription a long time ago to get around dealing with the advertisers.  
    Too bad old white people refuse to pay for what has always been free, so Rush will continue to be at the mercy of the advertisers.

  8. vincentkaprat

    March 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    The Constitution doesn’t secure Rush’s right to be on the public airwaves.  

    • ChuckConnolley

      March 12, 2012 at 9:56 pm

       @Vincent Kaprat So what are you saying? The FCC has a right to keep him off?

      • TwizzlesMcNasty

        March 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

         @ChuckConnolley No but if he can’t afford the cost of broadcasting it is not anyone’s problem but his own.  Not that i think that that will happen.  nor do I really want to see it happen.

  9. Shinemonkey

    March 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Football wants me to drink excessive amounts of beer…I shall concur

  10. bmqq316

    March 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    As full of shit as I find most of these conservatives, this witch hunt against Rush is bullshit…this guy is just an entertainer…like him or not.

  11. Trogdor_The_Burninator

    March 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    they are all fuck sticks

  12. WhiteyBrown

    March 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    There should be a list of the %2 of companies that are not afraid to advertise with controversial talk show hosts. That way, we would know who to support

  13. theblakeri

    March 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Can’t have open discussion and a sense of humor all in one place. Wait till the thought police get around to targeting the public.

  14. aholecop

    March 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    talk is going to POD cast anyway. these guys should get in now while they still are getting headlines .if they have a following the advertisers will come. watch a popular videos on youtube they all have adds before the video starts.

    • Riverguy

      March 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

       I agree and some have already adapted pod casts but for the time being it doesn’t have the weight and following of radio or the ease of turning  a car radio on.  How long before access to pod casts is hampered by protesters.  There use to be a show called ‘Have gun will travel’  now its ‘Have letter head will criple’.

  15. mendoman

    March 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Advertisers should wonder how I am supposed to trust that they will be there if I need product support from their company if they run like an elephant does from a mouse every time someone disagrees with a controversial topic. Moderation = COWARDICE!

  16. TwizzlesMcNasty

    March 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Coward or heroes aren’t real options because they are ultimately populist.

  17. Riverguy

    March 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Whether it is Rush or O&A the people who protest the most seem to be more sheep than listeners. This means they never heard any of the advertisements on those shows in the first place. Regardless of anyone’s politics or point of view the more we stifle radio or any media form the less anyone will be motivated to read, listen, or watch. How dull and drab must we all become to satisfy the PC police.