BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai Pull Ads From 'The O'Reilly Factor' Amid Scandal

Andrew Cummings
April 18, 2017

Neither Mercedes, nor any other FNC advertiser, had issued a statement about the importance of women in every aspect of their business, when network chief Roger Ailes suddenly left the company last summer in a hail of sexual harassment accusations and an internal investigation.

Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai said they were withdrawing their ads from Mr. O'Reilly's prime-time show, "The O'Reilly Factor", after the New York Times published an investigation this weekend that found five women who made allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior against him.

Hyundai said early Tuesday that it is not now advertising on "The O'Reilly Factor" but will remove upcoming ads because of the "recent and disturbing allegations". The automaker said it wants to partner with companies and programming that share its values of inclusion and diversity.

The retreat of advertisers from "The O'Reilly Factor" is compounded by new demands from the National Organization of Women for Fox News to fire O'Reilly.

Walsh says she declined O'Reilly's entreaties to come up to his room - and that he turned nasty at the bar, telling her there would be no job. Ailes has denied the charges.

"If Bill O'Reilly is in fact guilty of sexual harassment of multiple women, of course he should be fired", Bloom said.

Their continued presence raises the more fundamental question of the judgment of Rupert Murdoch, the family patriarch, who stepped in to oversee Fox News after Ailes was hustled out.

"Nobody can silence me because my voice is not for sale", Walsh said.

Fox News has said it is standing by O'Reilly.

In a statement posted on his website on April 1, O'Reilly wrote in part: "Just like other prominent and controversial people, I'm vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity".

MileIQ, in a response to ThinkProgress, noted that while they are taking the matter "very seriously", some prebooked ads might appear on O'Reilly's program as they wait for the cancellation to take effect.

The O'Reilly Factor is the most widely viewed USA cable news show, with an average of 3.98 million viewers in early 2017, according to Adweek.

Fox News, one of the most-watched cable news networks has been making headlines in the recent past for the wrong reasons. Ailes is facing a new sexual harassment case filed by a Fox News contributor, Julie Roginsky. One of the only reasons O'Reilly is still on air is because companies like Lexus, Jenny Craig and Claritin and other advertisers continue to fund his show to the tune of $111m each year. Ailes is now the target of a $30 million lawsuit by former contributor Andrea Tantaros, who described Fox News as a "sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult".

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