- REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
- Some advertisers are removing their ads from Sean Hannity’s Fox News show in response to his coverage of the sexual-misconduct allegations against Roy Moore, the Republican US Senate candidate in Alabama.
- The list of advertisers includes Keurig, Cadillac, AARP, and Nature’s Bounty, among others.
The Fox News host Sean Hannity is facing heat after several brands pulled their ads from his show.
A wave of advertisers announced they would pull spots from “Hannity” following the host’s interview on Friday with Roy Moore in which they discussed allegations that Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old and pursued relationships with other teenagers when he was in his 30s.
Some media observers have noted that Hannity directly asked about the allegations. But critics say Hannity went too easy on Moore – whom he supported in the Alabama Senate primary – saying he appeared to agree with a characterization of some of the conduct as “consensual.”
Amid the left-wing media watchdog Media Matters urging sponsors to pull ads, Keurig, Realtor.com, Eloquii, 23andMe, Nature’s Bounty, and E-Trade all announced over the weekend that they had no plans to advertise on Hannity’s Fox News show.
More recently, brands such as Mercedes-Benz have jumped on the bandwagon, even as others such as MyPillow remain unfazed.
Brands distancing themselves from politically or otherwise sensitive issues is nothing new. Several big-name advertisers were conspicuously absent from Megyn Kelly’s interview in June with Alex Jones, the right-wing provocateur and conspiracy-monger.
Similarly, in April, BMW, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, and Lexus were among the brands that pulled their ads from “The O’Reilly Factor” amid a wave of sexual-harassment allegations against its host, Bill O’Reilly.
There has also been increasing consumer backlash to brands taking positions.
But these emotional reactions are unprecedented, according to Canvs, a company that measures viewers’ qualitative responses to content. It looks at all the spoken words about shows across social media and maps viewers’ reactions with a range of 42 emotions.
“Unlike most emotional conversations about TV, brands have been raised to the forefront of the discussion surrounding ‘Hannity,'” a Canvs analyst told Business Insider. “These brand-driven viewer emotional reactions are really unprecedented when you look at any show on TV.”
Still, Hannity has seen his ratings jump since Fox News moved him to a different time slot last month. He was already one of the highest-rated personalities in cable news.
He has also weathered previous boycott calls by Media Matters, partially by rallying his viewers and supporters, who started a #BoycottKeurig campaign over the weekend and shared videos of themselves destroying the coffee machines.
On Monday, Realtor.com deleted an initial tweet about pulling the ads, and Keurig’s CEO apologized for “taking sides.”
“The action is key because that is what will have a financial effect on Hannity’s show, not the messaging that companies use,” said Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters.
Carusone added that he was surprised that Realtor.com made a statement at all, considering the company is owned by Fox News’ chairman, Rupert Murdoch.
Business Insider asked several other brands who have advertised on Hannity’s show over the past few months about their stances and whether they plan to do so in the future.
Here are their responses:
Hebrew National announced on Monday it was no longer advertising on Hannity’s show.
- Hebrew National
Hebrew National stated it had removed Hannity’s show from its advertising plans on Monday afternoon.
“Our advertising is not intended to be an endorsement of or sponsorship of any particular program,” the hot dog brand posted on Twitter.
Reddi-wip and Marie Callender’s — two other Conagra brands — also cut advertising.
A spokesperson from Conagra Brands told Business Insider on Monday that the company had “removed Hannity from our advertising plans for all Conagra brands.”
On Tuesday, a spokesperson clarified that the change had been made prior to the Hannity flap.
“We adjusted our media spend several months ago due to the needs of our business,” spokesperson Lanie Friedman said. “That said, we have not run on this program since August, so our decision was not made currently and has nothing to do with this controversy.”
Keurig says it will no longer advertise
Keurig said on Twitter that it would no longer advertise on Hannity’s show.
Many on the right called for Hannity’s supporters to boycott Keurig. On Sunday, some people went as far as posting videos of themselves smashing their Keurig coffee machines.
In a memo to employees on Monday, obtained by The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, CEO Bob Gamgort called Keurig’s decision to explain its plan to “pause” its advertising with Hannity’s show “highly unusual” and “outside of company protocols.”
“This gave the appearance of ‘taking sides’ in an emotionally charged debate that escalated on Twitter and beyond over the weekend, which was not our intent,” Gamgort wrote.
Volvo is pulling its advertisements out.
“We have spoken with our media agency and have advised them to cease advertising on the show,” Volvo reportedly said in a tweet Monday.
Realtor.com said in a now deleted tweet: “While we continually strategize on where we advertise on and offline, we are not currently, and will not be running TV ads on Hannity.”
- Caroline Cakebread / Business Insider
The fashion brand Eloquii said in a tweet on Saturday that Hannity was “blocked from our advertising list.”
The DNA-testing company 23andMe said: “We’ve received inquiries RE: advertising on Hannity. We are not running TV advertising on Hannity. We continue to closely evaluate where we advertise.”
The nutrition brand Nature’s Bounty tweeted, “We can confirm that we do not have advertisements running on this program.”
- nature’s bounty
Media Matters confirmed that E-Trade had stopped running ads on the show.
- YouTube / ETRADE Commercials
The meal-delivery service HelloFresh says it does not advertise on or around Hannity’s shows.
- Deborah/Flickr (CC)
“We have continuously worked with our advertising agency partners and media buyers to ensure that no HelloFresh ads are running during his programs,” a HelloFresh representative told Business Insider in an email. “We always refresh our advertising outlets with considerations for current events which we do not condone.”
Walmart says it does not typically advertise on political shows.
- Joe Raedle/Getty
While Walmart has appeared on lists as a “Hannity” advertiser, the retailer told Business Insider it did not typically advertise on any political shows and that an ad during Hannity’s show in September was a special situation.
“The ad you saw was part of a special advertising buy for Hurricane relief,” a spokeswoman named Meggan Kring said. “Traditionally we do not buy advertising during shows with political commentary, but this was a unique situation that needed broad awareness. The intent of this ad was designed to bring the country together for the impacted hurricane areas, a topic most audiences could relate to.”
MyPillow said it had “no plans to change its advertising” on the show.
The “as seen on TV” pillow brand isn’t planning to slow its advertising push on Hannity’s show.
“MyPillow has no plans to change its advertising,” Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO, said in an email to Business Insider.
Untuckit said its decision not to advertise on Hannity’s show was “unrelated” to news about Moore.
In an email to Business Insider, Untuckit CEO Aaron Sanandres said the men’s shirt brand had no plans to advertise on “Hannity.”
“We have not advertised on Hannity for several weeks, although unrelated to the controversy surrounding his interview with Roy Moore,” Sanandres said in an email. “The move was part of a larger assessment of where we spend our advertising dollars. We do not have any plans to revisit this decision.”
Hubble Contacts says it’s not advertising on “Hannity.”
- hubble contacts
Media Matters’ Carusone told Business Insider that Hubble Contacts had informed him it would no longer air ads on “Hannity.”
SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) has stopped advertising on all of Fox News.
According to Angelo Carusone, president at Media Matters, SHRM has decided to quit advertising not only on Hannity’s show, but all of Fox News.
Another! Kindly spread the word: As of Friday, November 10, @SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) has ceased advertising not just on Sean Hannity, but all of Fox News.
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) November 13, 2017
Volvo announced on Monday it had stopped advertising on the show.
- Hollis Johnson
“We have spoken with our media agency and have advised them to cease advertising on the show,” Volvo USA stated in a tweet that has since been deleted.
The YMCA said on Tuesday that its current advertising plans do not include the show.
- Wikimedia Commons WhisperToMe
“The Y is nonpartisan, and we advertise on many news and cable outlets with differing viewpoints to reach the more than 10,000 communities we serve,” the YMCA said in an email to Business Insider. “We have advertised on Hannity in the recent past, but our current advertising plans do not include the show.”
Dollar Shave Club announced Wednesday it had “ceased advertising with Sean Hannity.”
- Dollar Shave Club
The company tweeted in reply to a someone who asked over the weekend if it supported child molesters: “we do not condone any illegal or unethical behavior. We’ve ceased advertising with Sean Hannity and continue to review where we advertise.”