Following the announcement by prominent insurance company Pacific Life that it was suspending its advertisements with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight and will reevaluate its relationship with the show after host Tucker Carlson said immigration makes America “poorer and dirtier,” another high-profile company has distanced itself from the conservative commentator.
After activists and groups pressed employment search engine Indeed on its advertising relationship with the program, the company responded by noting that it is not currently running ads on Tucker Carlson Tonight and doesn’t plan to in the future.
Hi, Diane Indeed is not currently advertising on Tucker Carlson Tonight and has no plans to advertise on this program in the future.
— Indeed (@indeed) December 17, 2018
This came in response to progressive activist Jordan Uhl and organization Sleeping Giants, who both began pressuring Tucker’s sponsors following last week’s inflammatory opening segment in which the Fox News host railed against immigration, stating that it “makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.” He also contended many migrants seeking refugee status were actually “cynical shakedown artists who have been watching too much CNN.”
Responding to Uhl on Monday afternoon, Indeed wanted to clarify that it “has not advertised on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show for over a month now” and that the company has “no plans to advertise on this program in the future.”
@JordanUhl Hi, Jordan. To clarify, Indeed has not advertised on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show for over a month now. We have no plans to advertise on this program in the future.
— Indeed (@indeed) December 17, 2018
“Tucker Carlson’s latest racist comments are further proof his show is toxic for advertisers,” Uhl told Contemptor Monday afternoon. “The remaining companies that advertise during his show need to seriously reconsider associating with him because their ad dollars provide a megaphone for white nationalist rhetoric.”
After Pacific Life dropped Tucker Carlson Tonight last week, Fox News responded by claiming it was an “effort to stifle free speech” by “left wing advocacy groups” under the “guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs’” and that they would “continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.” This was seen as a not-so-veiled shot at Media Matters for America, which first spotlighted the Tucker segment and has been involved with spearheading Fox News advertiser boycotts.
Responding to this story, a Fox News spokesperson provided the same statement, which reads in full as follows:
“It is a shame that left wing advocacy groups, under the guise of being supposed ‘media watchdogs’ weaponize social media against companies in an effort to stifle free speech. We continue to stand by and work with our advertisers through these unfortunate and unnecessary distractions.”
Following Fox News’ statement last week, Media Matters senior researcher Andrew Lawrence told Contemptor that “Pacific Life is reacting to one specific instance from Tucker Carlson, but this type of hate is spewed out on their network daily, whether it’s coming from Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, or elsewhere on the network, it’s only a matter of time before Fox News embarrasses their advertisers and create the next PR nightmare.”
Per Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr, another Tucker advertiser — SmileDirectClub — has said it is “actively working” to confirm that none of its ads run on “any political opinion shows.”
UPDATE – @smiledirectclub, which advertised on Carlson’s Thursday and Friday night shows, tells me: “We are actively working with our media buyers to confirm that SmileDirectClub is no longer running our ads around any political opinion shows.”
— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) December 17, 2018
Barr also reported late Monday afternoon that fitness equipment brand Bowflex had pulled its ads from the program. The company said that while it buys “media broadly across many news networks” and doesn’t “target ads based on specific programs or hosts,” it has “requested that Fox News remove our ads from airing in conjunction with Tucker Carlson Tonight in the future.”
“Aside from our decision to remove our ads from his show, we have no other association or affiliation with Mr. Carlson,” the statement concluded.
This post has been updated to include additional advertisers Bowflex and SmileDirectClub that have severed their relationships with Tucker Carlson Tonight.