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Announcing The Carbonite Accountability Project

Announcing The Carbonite Accountability Project

On Saturday, March 3, 2012, Carbonite announced that it was dropping its advertising on the Rush Limbaugh Show even after Limbaugh had apologized to Sandra Fluke for certain comments made regarding Ms. Fluke.

When the controversy originally broke, Carbonite took a principled stand that its advertising was not an endorsement of a particular talk show host’s views, and that it was not political (emphasis mine):

Over the past two days we have received a tremendous amount of feedback on Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments.  I too am offended and very concerned about his comments.  Limbaugh’s remarks have us rethinking our future use of talk radio.

We use more than 40 talk show hosts to help get the Carbonite message out to the public.  The nature of talk radio is that from time to time listeners are offended by a host and ask that we pull our advertising. This goes for conservatives like Limbaugh and progressives like Stephanie Miller and Ed Shultz. We even get customers who demand that we pull the plug on NPR.   As an advertiser, we do not have control over a show’s editorial content or what they say on air. Carbonite does not endorse the opinions of the shows or their hosts.

However, the outcry over Limbaugh is the worst we’ve ever seen. I have scheduled a face-to-face meeting next week with Limbaugh during which I will impress upon him that his comments were offensive to many of our customers and employees alike.

Please know your voice has been heard and that we are taking this matter very seriously.

On Saturday afternoon, March 3, Limbaugh issued an apology.

Yet Saturday evening, despite having said he would wait to meet with Limbaugh the following week, Carbonite’s CEO issued following statement announcing the termination of further advertising:

A Statement from David Friend, CEO of Carbonite as of 6:45pm ET, March 3:

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady.  Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency.  Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show.  We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”

This blog and many others have called attention to the fact that Carbonite’s advertising policy is not consistently applied.

Carbonite continues to advertise on the Ed Schultz Show, despite Mr. Schultz’s long history of verbal attacks on the Tea Party movement and conservatives, including calling conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham a “slut,” for which Mr. Schultz later apologized.

Given Carbonite’s very public announcement, it is appropriate to keep track of whether Carbonite is living up to its own standards.

A special Focus Page has been created as a place at which readers can post information and links documenting whether Carbonite is advertising on programs and venues (including websites) which have engaged in personal attacks or uncivilized discourse.

This is a sunshine project, not a boycott.

Whether a consumer chooses to use Carbonite or a publisher accepts advertising from Carbonite is not a concern of this project.  We do not seek to have Carbonite stop advertising anywhere, and would have preferred that it live up to its original statement of keeping politics out of its advertising.

When will the project end?  When Carbonite lives up to its own standards.

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Comments

Uncle Samuel | March 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Excellent!

The idea of Sunshine Projects is very cool indeed.

Let the light shine! Drive out the darkness.

Very, very good.

Samuel Keck | March 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

This appears to be a little accountability imposed on Carbonite by a (somewhat) free market:

http://t.co/4jObNM8d

    Jack Long in reply to Samuel Keck. | March 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    By the looks of that chart I’d say they’re pretty much fluked.

      I like how they stay mostly flat through Monday, until people who only listen to Rush and ignore most other news found out they dumped him. Then it went into free fall.

        Yeah…. That stock chart is going to make for a VERY uncomfortable conversation between the stockholders and the Management, as it’s lost almost 10% of it’s value TODAY.

        C’est la vie. That’s what they get for not sticking with their initial “this is a business, not an endorsement” line. The people with the money (Rush’s listeners) are dropping their stock like a hot ember.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Chuck Skinner. | March 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm

          When I cancelled my company Carbonite account, I got a personal email from a CS flunky asking for info with which to process my request, but I also got what looked like a robo-survey asking my opinions on Carbonite’s service. When I checked zero of ten for my opinion of Carbonite, it asked me what they could do to improve my opinion of them. I said that I realized it was probably a low level CS employee who didn’t hold the same political opinions as does the Carb management who was reading my survey, and that the best thing that employee could do was to make sure the shareholders knew exactly why people were leaving Carbonite in droves. I added, if you do share your management’s political opinions, you won’t do that, so… enjoy your looming unemployment.

      gabilange in reply to Jack Long. | March 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      My 2 cents: whahahahahahahahahaha.

        turfmann in reply to gabilange. | March 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm

        Keep hold of that two cents. By Friday, you’ll be able to buy a couple of shares of Carbonite with it.

    creeper in reply to Samuel Keck. | March 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    They’re not worried. They know those big federal contracts are coming down the pipeline PDQ.

Henry Hawkins | March 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

“considently”

Irony abounds!

Midwest Rhino | March 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

It would be interesting to see how many leftist blogs or email lists trumpeted the alarm to blast Limbaugh’s advertisers. It seems coordinated. Of course with Carbonite guy being a Media Matters donor, he was probably in on the plan from the start.

Of course, since major media also seem to coordinate the message, it would be hard to pin down just a few sources. Beck used to roll out the long scroll of all the Soros supported leftist groups. ACORN was exposed, and they simply splinter into a dozen more groups. The radical left are not the party of ideas, they are all about threat and intimidation, the Chicago Way.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant!!!!

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Terri. | March 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Sunlight also kills nematodes in the soil. Hot sunlight…like in FL and SGA where I hail from.

    We till in rotted/composted leaf mold that contains beneficial bacteria or something, turn the soil to mix in the compost expose the nematodes to the hot sun and let nature work.

[…] Prof. Jacobson announces the Carbonite Accountability Project. Advertisement googletag.cmd.push(function() { […]

Always one to see the glass as “half full”, I am chortling with glee just thinking about how much money and personnel these groups are having to expend doing all of this.

At some point, they’re going to realize that they have spent a lot of money and manpower that they COULD have been using to get Obama re-elected.

But by then, it’s gonna be too late….

LukeHandCool | March 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Carbonite is taking a beating today. Granted, NASDAQ is down almost 1.5 %, but CARB is down a whopping 9.3% right now on heavy volume.

So, if things continue like this, it will surpass the 52-week low it set yesterday, by nearly 10% !!

We’re at 12 companies now that have pulled away from Rush:

http://www.investorplace.com/investorpolitics/9-companies-who-have-pulled-ads-from-rush-limbaugh/?cc=msnfeed

    Uncle Samuel in reply to LukeHandCool. | March 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Let’s hope some of that vast right-wing conspiracy group of billionaires and millionaires will step in and fill the spots.

    DINORightMarie in reply to LukeHandCool. | March 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Any word on ProFlowers – who also, by the way, sells Shari’s Berries? I hope they tank, too.

    I will NEVER send berries again – too bad, because they were apparently good, as per all the friends and family I sent them to…..

    Anyone know a substitute for them online, like Mosy/etc. for Carbonite?

      AmandaFitz in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      On Friday I ordered over $150 worth of flowers and birthday cake (Shari’s Berries) to support Rush (did it through the link on Rush’s website).

      On Monday, I canceled my orders and told them it was because of their treatment of Rush.

      On Monday, I ordered flowers and cupcakes sent to my daughter after I found local florists and bakeries in California. My cost was FAR LESS than ProFlowers was charging and I discussed the actual flowers to be used with the florist and the cupcake lady was amazing (Kara’s Cupcakes).

      Before ProFlowers I used 1-800 Flowers and they were great. I’ll use them again when I need flowers sent. I’m sure there’s a replacement for Shari’s-lots of great creative food purveyors are out there in the ether.

      firesteel in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Crashplan

    My guess is that most of them are going to take a HUGE beating on their stock prices very shortly, which will make for a lot of very unhappy other stockholders as Rush’s listeners pull their cash and put it into other investment vehicles.

    In fact, I think that all of the companies that withdrew advertising are down at least 2x what the underlying market is down at this time, and some more. ProFlowers probably won’t get hurt as bad, as it’s part of a holding company (Liberty Interactive Corporation) which has nothing to do with it’s name, and thus is harder to identify. But even they are down .5% today.

    As for LegalZoom, I am VERY glad that they are gone. You have NO IDEA how badly people regularly screw up their legal documents when they order them from one of those “prepare your documents at your specific legal request” sites. It’s only just BARELY on this side of “unauthorized practice of law” and those of us who look at those documents regularly get REALLY, REALLY tired of having to fix what the people screwed up by trying to do it “on the cheap” (although I hear it makes for FANTASTIC legal fees by the lawyers fixing the screw-ups, which I’m looking to get a chunk of in the near future).

    I’ve tried to sell the stock short for two days in a row and couldn’t. Why? Because I couldn’t either get an uptick or because it had fallen so much in the day.

    That tells you something about CARB.

      LukeHandCool in reply to John Richardson. | March 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      John,

      There is a short sale restriction in effect today and tomorrow on CARB.

      It would be down a lot more if that weren’t the case, me guesses.

    I heard LegalZoom has left and Capital One. I e-mailed both as replies to their e-mails thanking me for my business (to let them know I was a customer) that I would not be doing business with them any more and would be cancelling my Capital One Money Market account (noting the difference in treatment of Rush’s apology and Alec Baldwin’s).

    Two Carbonite computers (one cancelled less than a week after renewal and the other not renewed) gone and Pro Flowers told no more business as a reply to their thank you for my February order.

    Nice to be able to send a clear message to the four and especially the two who are losing money actually given to them.

    Here is a list of advertisers who have cancelled. Unfortunately, I do not do business with any of them, but my wife wanted to buy a sleep number bed. She won’t now.
    This site also lists the other advertisers on Rush’s show who are being targeted to quit.

    http://politicalloudmouth.com/2012/03/06/33-advertisers-have-quit-limbaugh-we-have-contact-info-for-many-others/

Thank you Professor. Highlighting the hypocrisy of the Left and their lackies (Carbonite etc). Let’s see what a dose of truth will do for their stock.

DINORightMarie | March 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

…including calling conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham a “slut,” for which Mr. Schultz later apologized.

It is my understanding, from a re-tweet from Laura Ingraham, that Mr. Schultz had *not* apologized.

If he did, I would be surprised. The Left never thinks they need to – we “conservatives” are all eeeevvvviiiillllll and sooooooo bad, that of COURSE those words/phrases apply and are appropriate!

Bigots.

Love Andrew Klavan…

A truly Breitbart kinda guy.

http://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2012/03/05/the-true-meaning-of-slutgate/

I’ve contacted both Carbonite and LegalZoom expressing outrage and disappointment.

I know boycott isn’t your intent, but threat of one by the left is what caused this. I let them know they have caused negative brand association with an audience they had probably spent millions courting.

Oh- and I WILL NEVER buy one of their products or a product from any company the pulled ad dollars from Rush over this.

    It’s not a boycott. What you’re doing is merely telling those sponsors that they had a choice of whom to listen to: The small, vocal rabid liberal activists who don’t purchase their products, or the LARGE quiet CONSERVATIVE businesses and professionals who did, and no longer will.

    Those sponsors chose the former, and thus alienated the latter, and there are consequences for doing so, being LARGE losses in revenue and stock price. They could have just stayed out of it, and suffered no real harm, but they had to “agree” with their political comrades in arms, and thus shot themselves in the foot.

Carbonite can do what it likes. And I can spend my money where I like. That is true liberty.

And Eric Holder? He is looking for answers…

I just joined LifeLock – they didn’t squash free speech and are still advertising on Rush.

“Carbonite Accountability Project”

Who?

(Glad to hear their stock is crashing….)

The Left hates sunshine.

Carbonite stock is taking a dive today and has surpassed its 12 month low. AOL announced it was pulling advertising from Rush, and now it is down almost 80 points from it close yesterday. And what does it tell you when a stock opens at 40cents less that when it closed yesterday?

The reports (thanks to the Professor) of Carbonites massive annunal losses, along with its obvious political move, now has its stock going down, down, down.

Carbonite asks Daddy Barack for a bailout in 3……2……

LukeHandCool | March 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Carbonite is not a stock I would ususally be interested in because it does not have options available.

Nevertheless, I added it to the technology sector tab of my watchlists. I have some 40 or 50 tech stocks on that list I monitor.

FWIW, to show you what a bad day it’s having, and bear in mind there is no news about CARB outside of the Rush/Fluke affair right now, it is far and away the biggest loser on this list on the day. With about 10 minutes to go before the close, it is down 8.3% today. Out of the other 40-50 tech stocks on my list, the nearest to CARB in terms of loss today are Xerox at -3.36% and Hewlett at -2.28%

Let there be light! Professor Jacobson: Excellent idea.

It’s now 4PM and CARB stock is at $8.35 down 80 cents.

My two cents:

Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 5:08 PM (1 day 22 hours ago)

RE: Carbonite and Choice

To the attention of Mr. David Friend, CEO, Carbonite, Inc (NASD)

via email to: [email protected]
with copy to: [email protected], [email protected]

Dear Mr. Friend:

I am one of Carbonite’s customers and have been for a number of
years. Until now I did not consider alternative online backup
services and would recommend Carbonite to friends and associates.
I learned about Carbonite from The Rush Limbaugh Program and
will continue to support Rush. It is unfortunate that both you and
Rush fell for left wing political activist Sandra Fluke’s rather
pathetic publicity stunt.

I will no longer recommend or support Carbonite following your
decision to suspend advertisements on Rush’s program.

You are free to advertise (or not) wherever you please. That is
your choice and I respect that.

But by attempting to silence Rush Limbaugh, you are also
attempting to silence free speech and are an active participant
in promoting an agenda which runs contrary to the founding
principles of the United States of America and it’s Constitution.
This is not acceptable to me and not acceptable to the
self-identified majority of Americans who are conservatives.

You have plenty of worthy competitors in the online backup
business. I am now testing CrashPlan.

As the CEO of a publicly traded company your fiduciary
responsibility is to shareholders, who did not invest in
Carbonite for the company involve itself in politics. Your firm’s
stock performance and disclosures in public filings indicate
perhaps more attention to the core business is required.

Regards,

warobins

—–

BREITBART IS HERE

    iconotastic in reply to warobins. | March 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Great point about the CEO’s fiduciary duty to the stockholders. If the stock value does drop and the cause can be reasonably assigned to this capricious action I wonder if stockholders would have grounds for a lawsuit against the CEO for breaching that fiduciary duty.

How sad. This used to be a nice blog.

LukeHandCool | March 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm

As I just mentioned to commenter John Richardson above, there is a short sale restriction in effect today and tomorrow on Carbonite.

Hahaha!

iconotastic | March 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Just so everyone knows, there is a superior product available for those who wish to–like Carbonite–apply some economic pressure. It is called SOS Online Backup and is well-regarded by PC Mag (better than Carbonite, in fact).

As my extended family’s tech support guy, I will be subscribing all my “clients” to this service instead of Carbonite from now on.

ps: I am in no way affiliated with SOS nor do I get paid (I wish!) for subscribing my lazy and demanding family for that service.

So one more thing that I think we need to address. We need to contact, Hannity, Prager, Levin Larson etal and ask that they remove the ads for Carbonite, Legal Zoom, pro-flower etal from their shows as well. Let these sick hyprocrties really suffer once all conservative talkshow hosts stop advertising for them. Then they will just have the libs, who will want the government to pay for them.

Dave Ramsey has US Legal Forms as a sponsor. Great alternative to LegalZoom.

You can use 1800Baskets.com, they have links to; 1800Flowers.com, FruitBouquets.com, they also have other specialties:
http://ww31.1800baskets.com/product.do?baseCode=93416&conversionTag=true

Replace Carbonite with http://mozy.com/ or https://www.dropbox.com/

LegalZoom with http://www.nolo.com/ (recommended by Clark Howard)

    iconotastic in reply to evilpa. | March 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Nice to know about nolo. I haven’t used LegalZoom in a couple of years, but I need to do a little LLC soon and was going to either hire an attorney or use LegalZoom. But now I will check out nolo.

    The companies withdrawing their advertising over this issue will realize soon enough that they shot themselves in the foot by alienating a large % of their market.

      For the love of God, don’t.

      Unless you ALREADY have set up an LLC or some other advanced business structure, hire an attorney who has a background in business to walk through your business structure and do the paperwork.

      You would not BELIEVE the number of times that someone says “well I’ll just file an LLC and everything will be all right” and then when they expect that LLC to protect them from something they get screwed because they missed something in the filing, didn’t respect the corporate form (such as holding meetings, required officers, minutes etc…) or didn’t fund the business with sufficient capital, thus allowing piercing of the corporate veil and exposing personal assets to liability.

      I’ve seen it too often, and I’ve seen too many people have to spend 10x times what they would have spent on an attorney doing it right UNDOING something that they got wrong because they tried to save a few dollars by not going to an attorney.

      Not to mention that if the attorney is reputable and screws it up, you can go after them for malpractice, for which any reputable attorney will carry “errors and omissions” insurance.

So far, 27 advertisers have announced they will no longer advertise on Rush, so it will take a lot more than “sunshine” to counter the left’s attack. Why not a counter- boycott with potentially millions of people reachable through the blogosphere contacting a targeted few of the more prominent advertisers contacting these companies?

OneVoiceInAmerica | March 6, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I do hope David Sterman didn’t have too much invested in Carbonite. Six days after he listed it as 2 of the safer stocks… it’s a whole new world, and it’s only getting better.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/401211-2-safer-stocks-amid-the-internet-ipo-marketplace?source=yahoo

We all vote with our dollars everyday whether we aknowledge it or not.

[…] it’s about accountability yes, but it’s also about voicing our strength and power. We far outnumber the left and there is no way they can win if we stand together and fight. […]

[…] No word yet on how many customers they have lost yet. I’m on my way out, these guys are too. Legal Insurrection has a different take here. […]

[…] UPDATE I: Announcing the CARBONITE Credibility Project. […]

Rush has said that the reason advertisers liked to sponsor his program was not because of him, it was because of all those people listening to his show. Well, now that these mental midget Socialists have shown their true colors and don’t want to associate with Rush’s show nor with his many listeners, wonder what their P&L statements and Balance Sheet will look like? It’s always about the bottom line and my bet is that Carbonite’s bottom line, along with Shari’s Berries, et al, will be negatively impacted by their idiotic decision to leave Rush’s show over Ms Fluke’s desire to have taxpayers pay for her sexual activities; that is, the conception portion thereof.

OBTW: It was obvious, wasn’t it, that Ms Fluke was not giving testimony before a Congressional Committee but rather making a public statement in the form of what would normally be called a press release, that this was done well after the Committee’s public session was over?

Raquel Pinkbullet | March 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm

The CEO of Carbonite David Friend is a far left zealot based on his big donations to Howard Dean. Obama, Kuchinich. So don’t hold your breath professor.
http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?city=Boston&st=MA&last=Friend&first=David

[…] from William Jacobson, the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy turns on Carbonite. Paybacks are a female […]

Professor,

You could provide a service to those of us who have already told Carbonite to get stuffed.

Ask your readers to suggest a Carbonite competitor that they have had good experience with.

DCP

[…] we have noticed that Carbonite remains a sponsor of Ed Schultz. It’s time for some sunshine. Attorney and blogger William Jacobson is giving the blogosphere the opportunity to hold you accountable for your stated righteousness […]

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