OAKLAND, CA: ColorofChange.org, a nonprofit that focuses primarily on black political issues, is conducting outreach to marketers, urging them to remove advertising from Fox News' The Glenn Beck Program.
The group began the effort after Beck said on a Fox News program that President Barack Obama is a “racist” and has a “deep-seated hatred for white people” on July 28. The talk show host made the remarks after Obama commented on the controversial arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates last month.
Managers of ColorofChange.org are contacting advertising representatives via phone as the group's primary form of outreach, said James Rucker, executive director of the group. The organization has also created a Web page where consumers can sign a prepared petition to the show's advertisers, or create an original message.
Geico pulled ads from the program this week, and Lawyers.com said it will not run spots on the show. Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, and SC Johnson have all said that their ads were placed on the show in error, according to reports.
“Our members found what Beck had to say, and what he is doing with his platform, to be divisive," said Rucker. “Our take is that advertisers make shows like Glenn Beck's possible, and the question is whether his rhetoric is the kind of rhetoric they want to be supporting with their brands.”
ColorofChange.org is reaching out to bloggers and members of the media about its complaint, too, said Rucker. He added that the effort is the first time the group has called on advertisers to pull support from a program, and gauged its progress as “doing very well.”
A Fox News spokesperson said that the marketers have moved their spots to other programs on the network and it has not suffered any lost revenue as a result of the campaign.
Rucker said that the group is working with Sunshine, Sachs & Associates on the effort. However, the agency declined to comment or confirm its work on the project. The firm is listed as a contact on a press release for the campaign.