TV talking head and top-rated pundit Bill O’Reilly is catching some heat and losing some advertisers these days. After reports surfaced about sexual harassment allegations made against O’Reilly, competing networks had a field day blasting that headline out, where consumers picked it up and started calling advertisers.
So far, big brands such as Hyundai and Mercedes, along with GlaxoSmithKline and Allstate, have all pulled their advertising from O’Reilly’s hit talk show, "The O’Reilly Factor." But that doesn’t mean everyone is leaving. According to CNN, the "Factor’s" biggest advertiser is staying cozy with the so-called “No Spin Zone.” Rosland Capital buys and sells precious metals, including gold, and they’ve invested a ton of advertising dollars into O’Reilly’s show in recent years.
As reported by CNN, here’s what Rosland had to say about the allegations and their response:
“We have been advertisers on the network for a number of years. Around 10 percent of our ad spend with the network is for advertising that runs on that particular program… At this time, we have no plans to change our advertising strategy.”
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it sure isn’t pulling their funding either. It’s not surprising. Rosland finds a ready market for its product in viewers of O’Reilly’s program. The commercial’s line about “protecting your assets” is one that tends to resonate with that particular demographic, so the company is well-placed to see a strong return on its investment.
But gold alone won’t save O’Reilly’s program if more advertisers bow out. Even though Rosland helped make "The O’Reilly Factor" the top revenue-bringing show for Fox, it won’t stay that way if more advertisers pull their buys. At this point, though, most market watchers believe O’Reilly will be just fine. Sure, there are a lot of people upset about the allegations, but most of them are not O’Reilly fans … and those folks tend to be a very valuable market demographic for a certain type of business.
But it’s not all good news for O’Reilly. His second largest advertiser is a company called MyPillow that has made a point of trying to put some space between their company and the troubled talking head. While the company stopped short of pulling its ads, they said the following: “MyPillow does not condone sexual harassment or any of the allegations against Bill O'Reilly…(we buy) a block of ads on the Fox Network and MyPillow is investigating whether it can pull its ads from that time block.”
So, that money may not be so safe after all.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
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