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Amex denies being part of conservative radio boycott

Amex denies being part of conservative radio boycott

I have been suspicious of the hype regarding the Rush boycott and the numbers of advertisers dropping Rush touted by Media Matters and others.  The numbers seem inflated for the purpose of creating momentum, as many of the advertisers being listed as “dropping” Rush never even advertised with him.

Of particular note was a list of 98 advertisers obtained by Media Matters which allegedly had instructed Premiere Newtorks to avoid Rush and several other high-profile conservative talk show programs.  That listed included American Express.

I reached out to Amex before my post yesterday about how certain advertisers were avoiding conservative talk radio but not Gawker.  Amex never responded to my request, but did respond to a reader complaint resulting from my post.

I followed up with the public relations person at Amex who had communicated with the reader, and she confirmed both that Amex never instructed Permiere Networks to avoid running Amex ads on conservative talk radio, and that Amex has “no position” on the Limbaugh boycott.

Here is the exchange of emails:

From me:

I run a politics and law blog and have been following the Rush Limbaugh advertiser boycott story. I posted the other day about the inclusion of American Express on a list of advertisers who have instructed Premiere Networks not to run Amex ads on the Rush Limbaugh show and the shows of several other conservative talk radio hosts.

I previously contacted Amex for confirmation of its policy, but received no response. I was hoping that you could explain Amex’s position on the following: (1) Did Amex instruct Premiere Networks not to run Amex ads on the shows of several conservative talk radio hosts as outlined in this memo? (2) What is Amex’s position as to Amex ads being run on the Rush Limbaugh show?

I would appreciate your prompt response so that I can update my readers.

Amex Response:

Thank you for your note, and I apologize because your previous email did not make its way to me, but I appreciate you reaching out again. I want to clarify that at no time did American Express or our media buying agencies send a letter to Premiere Radio Networks or its parent company, Clear Channel Communications, providing any direction concerning adverting placements, and specifically related to conservative radio programming. Since we were alerted to this situation yesterday, we have reached out to our media partners to correct any miscommunication and reconfirm that that they are not limiting the placement of our advertisements.

My follow up:

Thank you. What is Amex’s position as to advertising specifically on the Limbaugh show?

Amex’s further response:

We do not have a position on the Limbaugh Show.

If Amex denies being part of either a conservative radio or Limbaugh boycott, one has to question the validity of many of the lists being created of boycotters.

A lot of what is going on is hype by Media Matters and others to make the boycott seem worse than it is to inspire continued efforts.  That’s not to say that the boycott has not had an effect, it’s just don’t believe all the numbers being thrown around.

(Note, Ford confirmed to another reader its boycott of Limbaugh)

Related:  The real threat to conservative talk radio is not what you think

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Comments

There is more and more evidence showing that many of the Media Mutters (to itself in a dank, dark basement) sourced stories are their usual BS.

Also, has John Avlon EVER known WTF he was talking about…???

Eric Boehlert, are you there??

We know you’re reading … searching for typos.

Good job Ragspierre and Professor!

Ford has had problems before. The AFA started a boycott against Ford when Ford started sponsoring gay organizations and gay “pride” events. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Ford was a prime sponsor of the Folsom Street Parade/gay sex education event in San Francisco. The Folsom Street Parade/gay sex education event in San Francisco is especially offensive considering the events held on public streets during the “gay” event. I believe the pressure on Ford was so great that it did pull its sponsonship of many “gay” events.

Prof. it sounds like Ford is stating they’ve never advertised with Limbaugh instead of confirming they’re part of the boycott as your update suggests.

[…] HMM: American Express Denies Being Part of Conservative Radio Boycott. […]

The Memes defecated by Media Matters have seldom had any relation to the truth, so why would anyone but true believers think it would be otherwise in this case?

I will say, however, that David Brock does have great taste when it comes to handguns.

[…] By the way, William Jacobson smells something fishy in the Media Matters For America reporting on the boycott: “Amex denies being part of conservative radio […]

The problem is that once a company gets involved in such political stuff, they have the potential to alienate half their customer base. A good company serves people of every political stripe and should recognize that fact.

A statement like:

“at no time did American Express or our media buying agencies send a letter to Premiere Radio Networks or its parent company, Clear Channel Communications”

should result in a question like:

How about non-letter forms of communications?

Prof. Jacobson, everyone is assuming the memo from Premier Radio is genuine? Given that some of the names on this list are being questioned, what about the memo itself?

    Cas47 in reply to hstad. | March 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Here is some good information about that – the story is not what it has been made out to be :dailycaller.com/2012/03/14/talkers-magazine-publisher-limbaugh-likely-has-the-biggest-audience-hes-had-in-years/

“Ford confirmed to another reader its boycott of Limbaugh”

No Govt. Motors, no Italian Chrysler, now no Ford. My next car will be a Toyota.

    katiejane in reply to elkh1. | March 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    IMO boycotts are a waste – you boycott companies who support my causes and I boycott companies which support yours.

    However that logic only works if we both believe that and to date the Left seems to love their boycotts. Unfortunately companies tend to try and lessen their potential for harm – they acquiese to the side that does the most whining – and right now that is the Left.

    Sooner or later the Right may have to face up to the reality that it needs to fight fire with fire. Let companies know that if they fold under pressure from the whiney Left there will be consequences – major ones. If that goes against someone’s belief in “free market” – so be it. It should be considered negative results for poor marketing choices.

Ford, AMEX, and Sony have a bigger problem with liberal name-droppers like Media Matters and Gawker and their own flacks who got them into this mess (true or not) than they have with Rush, who only says what they pay him to say (and would neither say it nor take their money if he objected to its content). Wouldn’t it be nice to know what their lawyers and serious players are telling those folks rather than seeing the pablum the PR runts are dispensing.

From Instapundit:

A NEW ADVERTISER for Rush Limbaugh. This seems like a smart way to capitalize on listener loyalty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29-xReVMTEY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Posted at 8:50 am by Glenn Reynolds  

30 second audio radio ad

    barbara in reply to logos. | March 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks, Logos. Couldn’t watch it at work. I love his message, and particularly the picture of Breitbart at the end.

    Too bad he’s not closer to where I live – I’d hire him just because of the commercial.

Who does Ford think is buying their pick-ups, which is their top seller? It sure as hell isn’t the guys up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They need to re-think this one, although this is certainly not the first time they have been on the wrong side of an issue.

Aight, fair enough Amex. You’re in business to make money and not to get involved with political squabbles.

I just have to ask, why not a more public distancing between yourselves and the MMFA campaign? MMFA is making claims about your company that aren’t true, right? Your silence on the issue stinks of tacit endorsement, and polite emailed responses to justifiably irate conservatives isn’t good enough for me.

Please tell me if I’m off-track on this, I don’t have a PR Newswire account but I see nothing relevant here http://finance.yahoo.com/q/h?s=AXP+Headlines

They’re liberal political operatives. They lie. Kind of like how fish swim or birds fly.

Gotta say I’m disappointed about Ford, tho. I guess my next vehicle will be a foreign brand.

realestateacct | March 14, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I was listening to Rush on WABC today on my car radio. There was no shortage of paid advertising. In fact there was so much it was a little annoying.

“I want to clarify that at no time did American Express or our media buying agencies send a letter to Premiere Radio Networks or its parent company, Clear Channel Communications, providing any direction concerning adverting placements…”

Oh, come on. You don’t need to be a lawyer (or a law professor) to parse that statement. She’s just saying there is no paper trail.

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