Automotive advertisers drive away from Rush Limbaugh program

James Raia

Four companies with automotive-related products or services are among the more than two dozen advertisers who have exited the Rush Limbaugh radio program since the syndicated broadcaster made unflattering remarks on his February 29 show.

GEICO, AOL, All-State and Sears have all withdrawn sponsorship of the program after its host unloaded on Sandra Fluke. The Georgetown University law student spoke to Congress last month in favor of President Barack Obama's policy requiring insurers to offer contraceptives to women.

Limbaugh's use of the words "slut" and "prostitute" drew immediate reaction, with a rapidly increasing number of program sponsors quickly exiting.

AOL Autos is among America Online's most popular channels. The search engine portal and online news provider withdrew its sponsorship with the following statement:

"One of our core values is that we act with integrity. We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values."

Allstate and GEICO both provide automotive insurance. All-State said it mistakingly had one of its ads run on Limbaugh's program after incident but no longer advertises.  GEICO was among first advertisers to withdraw commercials for Limbaugh's program.

Sears, meanwhile, which has a well-established nationwide automotive center and repair facilities, also said one of its ads was broadcast on the show my mistake. But it's no longer advertising on the program.

Tom Aiello, a Sears Holdings Corp. spokesman, said WABC, a New York radio station, mistakenly ran a Sears ad last Thursday during a news break from the Limbaugh show.

Allstate Corp. blamed a network media vendor for mistakenly running its commercials Monday afternoon during Limbaugh's show. The Northbrook-based home and auto insurer said that its advertising purchase strategy has not included the "Rush Limbaugh Show."

Limbaugh has apologized twice for his remarks, but advertisers have continued to withdraw support for the radio program.

Article Last Updated: March 6, 2012.

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