After the latest revelations regarding sexual harassment lawsuits settled by Bill O’Reilly and Fox News, Mercedes-Benz removed advertisements from O’Reilly’s Monday show on the network.
Manager Corporate Communications at Mercedes-Benz, Donna Boland, responded to a question by CNN Money regarding their advertisements on the show.
“Yes, we had advertising running on The O’Reilly Factor (we run on most major cable news shows) and it has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy,” she commented. “The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
CNN Money reportedly spoke to over 20 advertisers; some said they were closely “monitoring” the situation, but none suggested they would stop advertising like Mercedes-Benz.
Jenny Craig also said they condemned all sexual harassment, but refused to provide any comments on the matter at hand.
“As a matter of corporate policy, we do not publicly comment on our advertising strategy,” a spokesperson told CNN Money. “What I can tell you is that we are constantly evaluating our media buys to maximize the efficiency of our corporate investment and effectively reach our target audience.”
According to the New York Times report published on Saturday, the amount paid out to at least five women by Fox News and Bill O’Reilly, in exchange for their silence and an agreement to not pursue litigation, totaled to around $13 million.
“Fox News has a very tired, tattered playbook, and that is, ‘attack, attack attack!’” an attorney for a former Fox News contributor who has made harassment allegations said, “especially women who speak out against their moneymakers.”
“So what she told me off the record were a lot of stories of other women who are under gag orders,” Wendy Walsh, a popular LA Radio host, told reporters, “who cannot talk, they have been silenced. And they had to take that money because they were facing potential economic ruin. And I felt like my story was so mild that I had to be a voice for them. Because nobody can buy my voice. My voice is not for sale. My truth is not for sale.”
According to various reports, Fox News has earned nearly $450 million in ad revenue from O’Reilly’s show from 2014 to 2016.