Rush Limbaugh is in trouble. Two days ago he didn't have a single unpaid public service announcement on his flagship show on WABC in NYC. Yesterday, 56% of his ads in NYC were unpaid PSAs. Today, 90% were unpaid PSAs, and the show included three occurrences of 'dead air'.
Here's a breakdown with the help of Media Matters' data:
- 3 occurrences of dead air
1 Advertiser sticking with Limbaugh
- 2 Small Business Authority ads in association with the Corporate Tax Network
3 Advertisers who have asked ads to be pulled
- 3 Netflix ads (Netflix has never intentionally advertised on his show, the ads are being pulled)
- 1 O'Reilly Auto Parts ad (Already asked to be pulled)
- 3 Constant Contact ads (Already dropped)
- 77 Free PSAs
- 7 United Negro College Fund ads (unpaid psa)
- 6 Feeding America ads (unpaid psa)
- 6 Big Brothers Big Sisters ads (unpaid psa)
- 14 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ads (unpaid psa)
- 14 Save the Children ads (unpaid psa)
- 17 American Heart Association ads (unpaid psa)
- 13 NY City Office of Emergency Management (unpaid psa)
The unpaid spots were all obtained from the Ad Council and all a broadcaster needs to run them is to register for an account.The AHA has already asked Limbaugh to drop their ads. A boycott is definitely working when even the unpaid advertisers are heading for the exits.
Right now, Limbaugh is too radioactive even for the scam artists. This is probably a smart move on their part as the last thing a company with a shady history wants is to attract attention. Lifelock came out in Limbaugh's support but seem to have thought better of it after people started to mention that $12 million settlement they just made with the FTC for deceptive advertising.
For all his communications skill, Limbaugh is an entertainer. And as Michael Vick found, advertisers don't want to associate with entertainers who have turned themselves into public figures of hate.