Yeah, if you read my earlier post about the ramifications of advertisers pulling out of Glenn Beck's Fox News show, I knew it would come to this: Clorox has become the first advertiser to pull out of cable's politically-focused talk shows entirely, saying, in a statement:
Clorox holds true to our advertising standards and we hold true to our nation's heritage of free expression of political opinions. However, consistent with our standards, we do not want to be associated with inflammatory speech used by either liberal or conservative talk-show hosts. After a comprehensive review of political talk shows across the spectrum, at this time we have made a decision not to advertise on them. Clorox has done very little advertising on political talk shows overall, and given the sometimes inflammatory nature of these shows, we feel our advertising investment is best directed elsewhere.As Clorox notes here, its spending in the genre is small -- Ad Age pegs it at less than $1.3 million in 2008 across Fox News, CNN and MSNBC combined -- but Clorox's move does crack the door open wider for other advertisers to make the same, weirdly bipartisan, move. With all of the advertising options out there, there are more comfortable ways for marketers to target the same demographic. More will follow Clorox's lead.
One executive quoted in today's Ad Age story about the move wonders if this will result in a toning down of shows like "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." I doubt it. The game will be to garner high ratings, which the cable news networks will no doubt tout, while quietly placing advertisers who don't want to be on these shows to other time periods and programs that are considered out of harm's way.