The last few days have been pretty brutal for Fox News from a public relations standpoint, as the disgusting, rotten core of the news organization is becoming clearer and clearer. Over the weekend, the network renewed Bill O’Reilly’s contract despite reports that he and Fox News have paid about $13 million in harassment settlements, and then earlier today, another contributor filed a lawsuit claiming that she had been denied a promotion after refusing to have sex with former network president Roger Ailes.
Now, Mercedes-Benz has announced that the many harassment allegations made against O’Reilly are too “disturbing” for it to ignore, so it has decided to pull all of its ads from The O’Reilly Factor. In a statement given to CNN Money, the car company said that it runs ads on “most major cable news shows,” but due to “the importance of women in every aspect of [its] business,” it no longer feels like O’Reilly’s show is “a good environment” for the Mercedes-Benz brand.
CNN Money reached out to “more than 20 companies” that also advertise on The O’Reilly Factor, and while several did respond to the queries, none of them seemed willing to actually distance themselves from O’Reilly’s increasingly toxic brand. That seems to suggest that Mercedes-Benz could be the only one to actually cut ties with The O’Reilly Factor, but these other companies will most likely be watching Mercedes closely to see if it really ends up benefitting from this move.
With that in mind, then, we’d like to casually mention the fabulous Mercedes-Benz CLA250 coupe, which boasts 208 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 in only 6.9 seconds, all for only $32,400. Or, for those looking for a bit more luxury, there’s the gorgeous Mercedes-Benz S600, which pulls 523 horsepower from a 6.0 liter V12 engine that can go from zero to 60 in only 4.5 seconds. Available in 17 different shades of gray and black, the S600 can be yours for only $170,750.
UPDATE: Four more companies have now pulled ads from The O’Reilly Factor, according to a new report from CNN Money. In addition to Mercedes-Benz, a maker of fine German automobiles, O’Reilly Factor viewers will also no longer be seeing commercials for BMW, Hyundai, Constant Contact, and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. All of them have released statements confirming that the decision was made in response to the volume of allegations that have been made against Bill O’Reilly.
UPDATE: The total now goes up to nine, with The Hollywood Reporter confirming that investment firm T. Rowe Price, men’s apparel company Untuckit, healthcare company Sanofi, and insurance company Allstate have all pulled their ads from The O’Reilly Factor as well.
UPDATE: The party keeps going, with The Hollywood Reporter updating its earlier story to say that a total of 17 companies have dumped The O’Reilly Factor. The newcomers are Credit Karma, Wayfair, Orkin, Mitsubishi, Allstate subsidiary Esurance, and drug companies Sanofi, Bayer, and GlaxoSmithKline (probably better known as GSK). A Variety story notes that the biggest advertisers on The O’Reilly Factor for the first nine months of last year were gold buyer Rosland Capital, My Pillow, Furniture Feet, and Pfizer (the company behind Viagra), none of which have dropped their ads yet.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter’s tally is now at 19, with Lexus and car-pricing web site TrueCar following suit and pulling their ads from the show. Meanwhile, O’Reilly ignored the controversy on his broadcast tonight, but Fox News released a statement, saying, “We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about The O’Reilly Factor. At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”