Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Advertisers Are Feeling The Heat, From The Left And Right

The advertiser boycott of Hannity's Fox News show that erupted last week after he promoted a groundless conspiracy theory involving the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich failed to gain the same momentum that brought down The O'Reilly Factor in April. But the speed with which seven advertisers pulled their spots does underscore several important trends, reports Crain's New York.

Sean Hannity
One is that consumers of all political persuasions are getting better at pressuring advertisers, as also seen last week, when AT&T, Coca-Cola and Univision withdrew their sponsorship of the Puerto Rican Day Parade over its decision to honor controversial Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera, a convicted terrorist.

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.

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