Fox News is in a jam this week as major automakers and smaller outfits pull their ads from the network’s popular The O’Reilly Factor show, following a series of sexual harassment claims against host Bill O’Reilly.
BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi all yanked their ads after a New York Times investigation that surfaced five sexual harassment cases against the political pundit. They were joined Tuesday by pharmaceutical maker GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Consumer Care, Allstate, asset management firm T. Rowe Price, and personal finance company Credit Karma. Untuckit, a men’s clothing line, and Constant Contact, an email marketer, and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, the parent company of the Rachel Ray-endorsed dog food brand Nutrish, also announced they were pulling ads. In total, 12 advertisers have so far withdrawn support.
O’Reilly has denied the claims have merit — but that hasn’t stopped the sponsor pullback. The show draws 4 million viewers nightly and generated $446 million in advertising from 2014 to 2016, according to research firm Kantar Media.
“In light of the recent New York Times investigation, BMW of North America has suspended its advertising with ‘The O’Reilly Factor,'” a BMW spokesperson announced late Tuesday morning. The Times reported that the five women have received settlement payments totaling $13 million from either Fox or O’Reilly himself.