A second, perhaps more telling lesson is that increasingly, television advertising can be easily moved to other shows—or replaced. This is particularly true for the tech and e-commerce companies that withdrew from Hannity, such as Casper mattresses and cars.com. "These advertisers know they can get those eyeballs elsewhere," said Matt Britton, chief executive of digital marketing agency Crowdtap.
Britton recommends that brands avoid news and opinion shows entirely because they are bound to create controversy. "If you pull your ads, you make one side happy and the other side mad," he said. "There's no upside."
Clearly many advertisers disagree. Ad revenue for Hannity grew 17% last year to $65.7 million, according to Kantar Media, putting the show in second place across the news sector, behind only O'Reilly's show.