Thursday, August 15, 2013

Everything You Need To Know About The Rush Limbaugh Sponsor Boycott.


In our recent series, "How To Organize Boycotts, Protests, And Demonstrations," the fifth and last segment, "Organizing Boycotts," pointed out the difficulty of effective boycotts.  But one of the most effective boycotts in modern history - the boycott of sponsors of multi-millionaire Rush Limbaugh's radio show - has proved the exception to the rule, as John Fugelsang noted in his piece, "Fugelsang: Limbaugh has lost ‘more sponsors than Lindsay Lohan at Betty Ford.":

"On Thursday night, Current TV host John Fugelsang made light of Rush Limbaugh’s recent ratings dive and his difficulties with the radio broadcasting giant Cumulus Media, which is considering dropping the veteran AM radio talker.

“'I kind of want to be serious for a second, if that’s okay,' Fugelsang began. 'Like many of you watching, I was shocked to hear of how “The Rush Limbaugh Show” is dying in the ratings. One trade publication called it "the end of right-wing, conservative talk radio."’

"He continued, 'And the reason, of course, is that Rush Limbaugh has scared away more sponsors than Lindsay Lohan did at Betty Ford. Forty-eight of the top 50 advertisers exclude the Limbaugh show now from their radio ad buys.'

"But, because comedians and satirists need someone to deride, Fugelsang said, Rush cannot be allowed to fade off the airwaves altogether. He issued an appeal to advertisers.

“'Hello, are you a small business owner looking to reach a wider audience of xenophobic, woman-hating, aging, bitter white guys with impacted colons, but don’t think you have the resources to do so?' he asked. 'Have you dreamed of a professional association with an obese, hate-driven bigot who reaches a wide audience of obese, hate-driven bigots who automatically nod at everything he says, even if that nod makes the dangling string of drool drip on the clicker?'

"Then advertise on Limbaugh’s show now, he said.

“'Advertising on the Limbaugh show will bring untold wealth, riches and incredible luxury — to Rush Limbaugh,' Fugelsang explained. 'Believe it or not, he needs your business,Those Viagra-packed weekends in the Dominican Republic don’t pay for themselves. The sexual tourism industry of the entire Third World is depending on you.'


In her article by "Ellen" at Newshounds.us, "Hannity And Limbaugh Reportedly Dropped By Cumulus Radio," she wrote:

"Yesterday, Politico reported, 'In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year, an industry source told POLITICO on Sunday.' But don't celebrate the end of hate radio just yet.

That isn't to say that Limbaugh isn't hurting. As Media Matters reported in March, Limbaugh is still so toxic from his attacks on Sandra Fluke (despite receiving a prime time pass from Fox News), that the damage has spilled over to other right-wing talkers:
"When advertisers began fleeing from his program, Limbaugh dismissed the losses as akin to losing a 'couple of French fries' and insisted that 'nobody is losing any money here.' This position seemed less tenable after Limbaugh employed the services of a crisis manager to handle the fallout, and the right-wing talker's protestations were proven false once financial reports started rolling in. 
"For example, Cumulus Media, a radio company that carries Limbaugh's show in 38 markets, reported millions of dollars in lost revenue and attributed the losses in part to the Limbaugh advertiser fallout. Dial Global, a radio syndication company, reported roughly $100 million in losses for 2012 and publicly cited Limbaugh as a significant contributing factor.'
"...Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey signaled the toxicity of Limbaugh's business model as well as industry adaptation in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV, saying: 'We're sort of seeing a shift in spoken-word radio from political-based talk over to sports.' Sports radio is popular with advertisers, Dickey explained, and "people may be a bit tired of all the partisan bickering.

On May 7, 2013, Media Matters reported on the continuing financial backlash:
"On its first quarter earnings call with investors, Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey reported a $2.4 million dollar decline in revenue associated with syndicated talk (which is a polite way of referencing fallout from the Rush Limbaugh's loss of advertisers without calling Limbaugh out by name). Dickey has reported millions in losses associated with Limbaugh in previous quarters as well. 
"Anticipating this report, a 'source close to' Rush Limbaugh's show began making the rounds insisting that Limbaugh is not to blame for the losses, while indicating that Limbaugh is considering walking away from Cumulus, which currently carries his show on 40 of its stations. 
"Asked to address the Limbaugh issue during today's earnings call, Dickey flatly rejected the notion that Limbaugh is blameless,explaining: 'We've had a tough go of it the last year. The facts are indisputable regarding the impact certain things have had on ad dollars.'

"So that's the backdrop for Dylan Byers' scoop at Politico that Cumulus refuses to pay the money demanded by Clear Channel's Premiere Networks, the distributor of Limbaugh and Hannity. Byers warns that there may be some posturing going on: 'As industry insiders caution, Cumulus and Clear Channel have come to the brink before during contract negotiations only to resume talks.'


"But even if Limbaugh and Hannity get dropped from Cumulus airwaves, hold the party hats and noise makers. The likely replacements may be right-wing-hater clones. Byers says:

"(I)n recent weeks, Cumulus has been quietly reaching out to radio talent agents and political insiders about new local and regional station hosts to fill some of the airtime that will be left vacant by Limbaugh and Hannity, industry sources said. Cumulus is also expected to move some of its existing talent -- which includes Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage -- into one of the slots.

"Stay tuned!"

Leslie Salzillo at Dailykos.com analyzed the boycott further in her essay a few weeks ago, "Big Rush Limbaugh Sponsors Continue To Leave, As Boycotters and The People Continue To Win.":

"Yes, Mam! Big name companies as well as small locals, continue to dump Rush Limbaugh - about 2700 sponsors have departed so far. Some of the most loyal Limbaugh sponsors, who have ignored protestors for over a year... are now bolting. Why? The boycott heat is hot, and these Rush Limbaugh 'Sponsor-Babes' are feeling the *BAIN, I mean the pain. We are thrilled to see them go. Do they deserve praise and glory for doing so? Hell, no. They stood by Limbaugh, even after his 3-day attack of Sandra Fluke. They saw him call her a 'slut' and 'prostitute' for advocating insurance coverage for birth control, and they continued to sponsor and support his hateful bigoted rhetoric, by throwing advertising dollars his way. No reputable company should have stayed with him after that. Maybe someday, the public will forgive these companies Right now, it's good to see them finally doing the right thing. The latest to flush Rush is AAMCO. Here is part of their statement, sent to protesting groups:
"AAMCO stores are locally owned and operated, and each, therefore make advertising purchasing decisions at their own discretion. However, after many requests online from groups and individuals who have continuously posted about the controversial content on the Rush Limbaugh program, AAMCO investigated where local centers were advertising on Rush Limbaugh programming. The program was not specifically selected by any local AAMCO center, but was part of a broad program rotation in two local markets. Because of this, AAMCO has since requested to those markets that the Limbaugh program be removed from the ad rotation, therefore making an exception to its local policy.


"Very good. Pray tell, why didn't they do this before? For over a year they have been contacted by individual consumers and groups. Many of these national chains often say they do not agree with Limbaugh's commentary, but they have no control over their franchises. That's BS, and we all know it. When push comes to shove, it's their name and logo on the line - and they can call the troops to order. Push came to shove also forDish Networks, Capstone and Safelite who've not been heard on Limbaugh's show for months. Angie's Lists has gone back and forth, so we don't know what they'll do. (They're gone for now.)

"The protests are clearly working. Limbaugh's parent company, Clear Channel, run by CEO Bob Pittman and President John Sykes, has lost hundreds of millions in revenue since the boycotts began. Clear Channel is owned by Bain Capitol(yes, of the Mitt Romney flavor). And Clear Channel owns iHeart Radio.

"We must celebrate the American public for these accomplishments. It has not been an easy job, no. Hundreds of thousands are involved in the work. There are numerous groups and petitions. Some groups like 'BoycottRush' and 'FlushRush', monitor stations, and report ads to the StopRush Database, then post them on their Facebook walls.The BoycottRush Facebook Grouphas over 58,000 members. When they post a sponsor's name on their wall, it appears in the Facebook news feeds. Those people share on their other social media networks like Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, StumbleUpon... so the original post with the sponsors name aligned with Rush Limbaugh, is capable of being seen by millions. That's a lot of bad press for a company to risk. And sometimes even bad press really is not good press. I know I have remembered the wrongs of certain companies for decades and still won't buy from them. Okay, yes, I can hold a grudge with companies - I'm not alone.


"Occasionally, several groups join together and do social media blasts. On a certain day, at a certain time, the combined group members tweet, Facebook post, call, and email sponsors - all at once. (Sunday night, there was a Subway 'twitter bomb.') Members are advised to be respectful to sponsors. There are some that just can't do it, but for the most part, the boycotters are decent everyday people who've joined the Limbaugh protests because they care about public radio. They are fed up with the hate speech Rush Limbaugh spews daily on our public airways. Though some members are politically inclined, for most people, this is not a right/left wing issue. It's about common decency - something Limbaugh greatly lacks. Our public radio network was not created to be used by a hate-monger like Limbaugh, who makes millions, to promote racism, sexism and gay-hating bigotry.

"Limbaugh is losing and he's desperate. To join in the final countdown days to victory, here are a few ways you can help:
"Join/Like: BoycottRushFacebook GroupSign: Limbaugh Sponsor & Clear Channel PetitionVisit: The StopRush DatabaseEmail: FCC Acting Chairwoman Clyburn"Also, you can sign: Petition To Remove Limbaugh's Bust From Missouri State Capitol Building (The bust sits with with others like, Mark Twain, Walter Cronkite, Sacajawea, and Harry Truman - in tax-paid government building.)
Sign: Daily Kos Petition To Remove Limbaugh From The Armed Forces Network.


"Some of the most loyal remaining Rush Limbaugh sponsors include:

"Amberen SweetJack, LegalZoom, Comcast, 1-800-Flowers, Ageless Male, Lifelock, Comcast, Blinds.com, Stamps.com, Regus, Lear Capitol, Income At Home/Herbal Life, Hillsdale College, Lunch Dates, iHeart, Wave Home, Gold Bond, Midas, Visiting Angel, MyTV, New Vitality, Keller Williams, Heritage Foundation, 800-Donate Cars, Power Swabs, Idrive, Bank On Yourself, Total Transformations and iHeart. Sadly, AARP is jumping in to take advantage of free PSA (Public Service Announcement) ad space on Limbaugh's show. Why would any company risk offending 90% or more of Americans (women, blacks, gay men, lesbians, hispanics, disabled, military, unions members, the poor, children, immigrants, liberals, teachers, tax-payers, anyone with any sense of goodness) ...for free ad space with Rush Limbaugh. Come to grips, AARP.



"If you'd like to send these companies a note, most are on Facebook/Twitter. For more sponsors, (yes, there are many more who are taking advantage of the Rush Limbaugh Clearance Sale on Ad Space) you can visit StopRush.net. It's good to see the peopleusing their voices and consumer dollars to fight and win against greed and corruption.

"Thank you, Richard Myers. We are finishing this. Rest in peace.Note: Special thanks to OldSoldier99, CTNET, and Shockwave for their information. The AFN petition has been edited in to this diary, as well as mention of Subway and AARP's ads."



To give you a historical perspective of this remarkable boycott of one of the most effective propagandist/demagogues in history, over the past two years Hufingtonpost.com has published 44 pieces on the Limbaugh boycott, here --> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/rush-limbaugh-advertisers.

While the list of Limbaugh Lies is so huge, no one site has a complete list, you can have a recent sample here --> http://rushtruth.net/.

And admittedly, there are many, many more sponsors that need to be called - something we can all do in our spare time.  Stoprush.net has that list on their "Rush Limbaugh Sponsor List" here --> http://stoprush.net/rush_limbaugh_sponsor_list.php#current_a.



You may not be able to attend a rally or demonstration, you may not be able to run for office, but one or two calls a day will be a political act that can be just as effective - give these local sponsors a call and tell them what you think of a business that promotes hatred and lies, of the demagogue who panders to an "audience of xenophobic, woman-hating, aging, bitter white guys with impacted colons...hate-driven bigots."

Limbaugh is on a downhill slide now, and it looks like he's picking up the dregs of business ads now - as we'll see next when we learn how "Pigboy Steals From Seniors."




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"A book worth reading is worth buying."

John Ruskin. (The leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron,

draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. 1819 
– 1900.)

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