Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Hyundai and Allstate Insurance Co., major long-time advertisers from the automotive industry, have removed their advertising campaigns from the controversial Fox political show “The O’Reilly Factor.”
The abrupt reaction, which also includes several additional advertisers from various industries, has occurred over several days after the New York Times reported Fox and show host Bill O’Reilly paid five women to settle claims he sexually harassed them.
According to a Reuters report, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA, direct marketer Constant Contact, men’s clothing company Untuckit, as well as T. Rowe Price are also no longer advertising on the show.
“In light of the disturbing allegations, we instructed our media buyer this morning to reallocate our ad dollars to other shows effective immediately,” Untuckit co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Aaron Sanandres told Reuters in an email.
Fox News has not responded to media requests
Fox and O’Reilly have paid $13 million to five women who had accused the talk show host of sexual harassment, according to the New York Times.
O’Reilly said in a post on his website that he’s been unfairly targeted because of his prominence.
The National Organization for Women on Tuesday called for O’Reilly to be fired and demanded an independent investigation into the “culture of sexual harassment” at Fox News. “The reported use of his powerful position to repeatedly manipulate women reveals a cruel misogyny that runs to the core of his character,” the organization said.
According to ad-tracking firm iSpot.tv, Mercedes-Benz bought an estimated $266,477 worth of commercials on the show over the past 30 days, the tenth most, and spent $1.3 million in 2016. Hyundai purchased $102,902 worth of commercials over the last 30 days, and $913,445 in 2016. The South Korean automaker also spent $644,788 in 2016 for Kia spots.
“The O’Reilly Factor” is the most-watched Fox News program.