The O’Reilly Factor is in serious trouble. More than 20 companies have pulled their commercials from the show amid a scandal involving the host, Bill O’Reilly.
The list of advertisers who have backed out includes: Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW of North America, Mitsubishi Motors, Lexus, Constant Contact, Bayer, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Orkin, UNTUCKit, Allstate, Esurance, T. Rowe Price, Credit Karma, Wayfair—and the list goes on. The action comes after a report was released about five settlements with women who alleged sexual harassment or verbal abuse by O’Reilly.
In a sudden sweep, the most popular show on cable news and its network, Fox News, could be facing serious financial damage.
“We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about the O’Reilly Factor,” Paul Rittenberg, the executive vice president of advertising sales at Fox News commented. The statement implies that the companies’ decisions haven’t hurt Fox’s bottom line yet.
But the damage goes deeper than the dollar amount. On Tuesday, Hyundai said it is not advertising on “The O’Reilly Factor” because of the “recent and disturbing allegations.” The statement also noted that they will “continue to evaluation the situation” before moving forward with future advertising decisions.
On Sunday, The New York Times reported that settlements totaling $13 million had been reached with five women who accused O’Reilly of inappropriate behavior. O’Reilly did not address the claims on his show Monday night.
Over the weekend, 21st Century Fox said it “takes matters of workplace behavior very seriously” but stood by O’Reilly.
Social media users have been pressuring companies to boycott the network and the show. Experts suspect more companies and brands will follow suit. “The O’Reilly Factor” generated $446 million in ad revenue between 2014 and 2016.
At a press conference on Monday, attorney Linda Bloom, who represents one of the accusers, criticized with O’Reilly claim that he was a “target” of lawsuits—claiming he was “whining.”
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