Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has been hemorrhaging advertisers this week, and it turns out that the bleeding is even more extensive than it appears.
Some of the companies that have continued to air commercials during “The O'Reilly Factor” tell The Fix that they want to join the boycott — and will as soon as possible — but have been locked into ad spots they reserved in advance.
Next Day Blinds, for example, ran a commercial during Wednesday's episode but did not wish to.
“We buy our media quarterly and are constantly monitoring to make sure our buy aligns with our advertising strategy and our target customers,” explained company spokeswoman Katie Henkes. “As soon as we learned about the accusations against Bill O’Reilly, we instructed our media buyer to cancel our advertising on 'The O'Reilly Factor.' Unfortunately, our media buyer was unable to impact show.”
Luke Lappala, a spokesman for Scottevest, said his company “cannot continue to advertise on 'The O'Reilly Factor' and directed our media buyer to pull all advertising from the program immediately. Unfortunately, our media buyer was not able to pull the ads for Wednesday night in time.”
Invisalign is abandoning O'Reilly, too, but spokeswoman Shannon Mangum Henderson said “it can take a few days for a schedule to clear,” which is why commercials did not vanish right away.
Verizon, which promoted its Fios cable and Internet services during Wednesday's program, said the ad “snuck through without our consent and ended up in content that we did not approve.”
“Rest assured,” added spokeswoman Sanette Chao, “we are working closely with our media partners to tighten the filters and ensure our ad placements reflect our brand values.”
The sponsor exodus was prompted by a New York Times report that over the years O'Reilly and Fox News have paid $13 million to five women to settle claims of sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct. O'Reilly has long been a polarizing figure, but his show consistently draws the highest ratings on cable news, making it a popular place to advertise until this week.