Glenn Beck Boycott Grows: Walmart, Best Buy Pull Ads


David Knowles

Fox News faces something of a quandary when it comes to Glenn Beck. On the one hand, his brand of incendiary commentary makes him extremely popular with the news channel's audience. On the other, his controversial rhetoric is driving away a growing number of corporate sponsors. Like many of Fox's on-air personalities, Beck routinely takes issue with President Obama's policies and governing priorities, but the self-described regular guy seemed to cross the line when he labeled the president a "racist" who "has a deep-seated hatred of white people." Watch:

Those remarks have proven too much for many advertisers, and that list is growing. Last week, Geico announced it was pulling its ads from Beck's show. This week, several more companies are following suit, and the list now includes:

ConAgra Foods
Procter & Gamble
GMAC Financial Services
Best Buy
State Farm Insurance
Broadview Security
Progressive Insurance
Radio Shack
Men's Wearhouse

Several of the companies issued statements explaining their decision regarding Beck's program. Here's what CVS said of the move:

While advertising on Fox is part of our communication plan, we had not requested time on Glenn Beck's show specifically. We have instructed our advertising agency to inform Fox to ensure Glenn Beck's program is not part of our advertising plan.
Fox does not seem likely to lose much money from these actions, as the companies in question have, for the most part, simply shifted their advertising schedules so that their spots do not air during Beck's show. Moreover, a staunchly anti-Obama platform is paying huge financial dividends for the network, with viewership up 11 percent from a year ago. It seems the lesson here is that while there may be a limit to the specific tenor and wording that Fox's television hosts use against the president, the general game plan is still to present Fox as the "voice of the opposition" to the Obama administration.