Limbaugh Advertisers Suspend Ads Despite Apology

ProFlowers today suspended advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show, notwithstanding his apology yesterday:

At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day. We do not base our advertising decisions to align with any particular political view or opinion as our employees and customers are as diverse as the USA. Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program.

The apology was also insufficient for Carbonite: which issued this statement: [More...]

A Statement from David Friend, CEO of Carbonite as of 6:45pm ET, March 3:

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.” (my emphasis)

You can follow new developments on Twitter at #stoprush and #boycottrush.

Update: The Washington Post has an article on Rush tonight and the likely fallout with some interesting details on his ratings (may be less than previously believed due to a change in how ratings are reported), and some of his past attacks. On ratings:

Under the old audience-measurement method used by Arbitron, a sample of listeners recalled what they had listened to and listed these programs in a paper diary. The system favored big names such as Limbaugh and Howard Stern.

But a new system, in use in 48 large cities, employs electronic meters that automatically record what respondents are listening to. The electronic ratings have generally been lower than the old paper ratings, said Cooke, adding, “his audience may have been over-estimated all along.”

The past attacks:
Limbaugh has escaped lasting damage over inflammatory remarks before, such as when he suggested that Michael J. Fox was exaggerating the effects of Parkinson’s disease in a 2006 ad in which the actor advocated more funding for stem-cell research, or when he aired a song parody called “Barack the Magic Negro” that lampooned Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2007.
Limbaugh airs on 600 stations. Without advertisers, how long will they keep him? One potential replacement name floating around: Mike Huckabee.

And what Koolaid is this guy drinking?

Randall Bloom­quist, a talk-radio consultant.... [says] "The people who listen to him may not agree with the language he used, but they like what he said.” “This is brilliant, in a way. It plays to his existing base and brings back fans who haven’t listened to him in a while.”

Nice try at spin, but I doubt anyone will buy that ton of lard. Rush may survive, but his image has been permanently tarnished by this latest debacle. The final lesson is far more apt to be that Rush is Expendable.

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    Aw shucks (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Sweet Sue on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 02:52:40 PM EST
    Yay for me and all the other Sweet Sues and Sweet Stanleys.
    It's a start, just a start, but I can't remember any other time that Rush got a good spanking from his sponsors.*

    *Okay, that image made me a little nauseous.

    This is great news (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by shoephone on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:07:17 PM EST
    And, yes, we need to keep on the advertisers -- and the media -- about this, and not let go.

    It's a long time in coming. I can't begin to express how horrified I was when Limbaugh made fun of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's. That was one of the most disgusting displays of bullying and cruelty ever. The advertisers should have pulled out then. Better late than never, I guess.

    May I add again (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by DFLer on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:40:58 PM EST
    ...also contact the local radio stations that broadcast this sheet.

    That was (none / 0) (#9)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:41:35 PM EST
    my thought too.

    Why was this the last straw?

    There was so much that preceded it that was as stomach-wrenching, cruel and stupid as in the example you cited.


    Are you with us, brother? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Sweet Sue on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:18:16 PM EST
    Because, Limbaugh just insulted and slandered fify three percent of the population.
    For me, it was the last straw twenty five years ago. I've been just as upset at his cruel, stupid jibes at the poor, minorities and handicapped.

    Yes, sister. (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 04:15:03 AM EST
    I am with you.

    My (none / 0) (#16)
    by lentinel on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 04:25:39 AM EST
    other thought on the subject is that this 53% might be more powerful than he or his entourage might have expected. Insults leveled at other groups, including feminists, have yielded no such outrage and no such "apology" from this bloated imbecile.

    Perhaps this is Limbaugh's "have you no decency?" moment - as in Welch's confrontation with McCarthy.

    It seems to me that 53% of the population should be more proportionately represented in our government and on our airways.
    Maybe we're in for a much needed and well overdue change.

    I'm pretty sick of the Mr. President and the First Lady mentality.


    It has brought home to me just how under- (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:39:42 AM EST
    represented we are. We need many more female candidates - look how Scott Brown had to react just by virtue of the fact that his opponent is a woman. I realize now we cannot assume men can do our heavy lifting if they are on our side.  

    I meant 'even if they are on our side' (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:40:03 AM EST
    Possibly because insulting a young (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by observed on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:49:01 PM EST
    woman in this manner offends a lot of Republicans as well. Lots of jerks are ok with kicking the "crip", but if Rush calls someone who looks like their daughter a whore, that's different.

    Keep Up The Pressure (none / 0) (#26)
    by norris morris on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:13:43 PM EST
    Women must continue to pressure sponsors to leave Rush L.

    His actions and hate speech have consequences and we have more strength than we realize. This is the moment to solidify our rejection to being controlled by old men who deny our rights to equal protection and seek total control of those they feel are the weakest among us.

    We must keep up the pressure.  We must contol our bodies, our minds and hearts, and our destiny.


    as lentinel notes, (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by cpinva on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 07:08:01 PM EST
    they've merely "suspended" advertising on mr. limbaugh's show, not terminated it. there is a difference. and yes jeralyn, they'll simply wait until the current furor dies down. as odious as mr. limbaugh is, and as loathsome as some of his previous rants have been, advertisers have lined up to plug their wares/services on his show. absent his audience drying up, they'll soon be back.

    now, if they terminate their ad contracts with Clear Channel, i might be impressed. as it is, those spots not put on mr. limbaugh's show will simply be shuffled elsewhere.

    It's Up To Us (none / 0) (#27)
    by norris morris on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 08:17:52 PM EST
    Nothing gets to sponsors faster than money.

    And, er....the Brand.

    We must stop buying any brand that continues to abet this hateful attack on women.  We actually control the buying power in the markets and it's about time we let 'em know it.  We have more power than we realize.


    Sweet Sue! (none / 0) (#1)
    by DFLer on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 02:29:19 PM EST
    You did it!


    Epic. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 02:41:05 PM EST
    lol. Kicking him in the Advertisers... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 02:43:29 PM EST
    keep in mind (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 02:51:16 PM EST
    suspensions are not cancellations. They may just be waiting to see if this dies down.

    Interesting though: There are no current paid ads I see on Rush Limbaugh's website. All the ad spaces seem filled with promotions for his own stuff.

    I can't tell for sure because I never looked at his site before this incident, but if you "right click" on his home page, and view the source coding, there's plenty of slots for ads. So did his web advertisers pull out too?

    More Likely (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:19:44 AM EST
    He pulled them so people wandering over don't see he who actually advertises with him in hopes of containing the backlash.

    It won't make a bit of difference, if anything, once it blows over the truly demented will spend more.  I can't imagine any of his regular listeners are leaving so the advertisers will be back.


    He has over a million facebook "likes" (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:28:44 AM EST
    There's definitely a market there. I agree, his advertisers will be back, if only to avoid other advertisers from encroaching on their market share and ability to part gullible goobers from their money...

    Not for nothin'... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 11:03:45 AM EST
    has anybody here ever bought anything because they heard a commercial on the radio?

    I tend to think we've been so bombarded with advertising all our lives it ceases to have any meaningful effect on people's purchases of goods and services whatsoever.  The only advertising I pay any attention to is upcoming concerts or movies...the rest of it may as well be narrated by Charlie Brown's teacher..."wah wah wah wah wah wah".


    I kind of do the same thing you do, kdog (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:29:43 PM EST
    Other than not having gone into a movie theater for about maybe 17 years now, after the last time blew me out the door before the movie started with their ten minute 150 decibal stereoscopic commercial flying back and forth across the theater.

    I don't own a tv, and in a car I turn off the radio if a commercial starts playing...


    Look.. (none / 0) (#6)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 03:37:51 PM EST
    They were willing to hawk their flowers on his show before this.
    So nuts to them.

    And now - the most they can is that they're suspending their advertising. Waiting to see if this blows over?

    On the other hand, the Carbonite statement was more definite and forceful. But, I have to ask, what in the world took them so long to get offended?

    Limbaugh isn't one to lie down (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:52:09 PM EST
    at "insults". I predict more foot in mouth responses from him.

    I hope so (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 10:16:17 PM EST
    I think you are right though, he can't stand down.  His persona that is so beloved dictates that he can't stand down either.  And I hope he doesn't, because he needs to go away and this is one way for that to happen.

    Send your favorite birth control users (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:31:26 AM EST
    some flowers. Let's show proflowers some love.

    Have they permanently dropped Rush? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 10:42:18 AM EST
    If they do that I'll even send myself some flowers.  I joined the push to have Rush removed from Armed Forces Radio.  A few years ago when I had to listen to AFR on post and he came on, I got pretty flamed that U.S. taxpayers pay to have their soldiers listen to Rush Limbaugh.  But when I'm stateside it is easily forgotten.

    My husband complains about it all the time when he is deployed, because AFR becomes very important when you get a moment for some entertainment or to keep up with what is happening back home.  But when he gets home, he forgets about it too.

    Is it healthy to have someone who lives insubordinate to this President simply because he breathes in the White House, someone who is isn't fact or science based, preaching constantly to our troops while they are away from home and often in war zones?  I don't think so.


    Sorry for typo (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 10:43:17 AM EST
    Someone who isn't fact or science based