Advertisers are distancing themselves from Fox News host Sean Hannity after he attacked the women who reported sexual misconduct by Senate candidate Roy Moore (R-AL) and helped organize a boycott of Keurig, a Fox News sponsor that stopped advertising on Hannity.
On November 11, Keurig, a coffee-maker brand, announced it was pulling its advertisements from Hannity’s show after his attacks against the women who came forward against Moore with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. In response, Hannity encouraged his supporters to destroy their Keurig coffee machines (days later, he denied doing so) and lashed out at Media Matters in a 30-minute tirade on the November 13 edition of his Fox News show as even more advertisers ceased running ads on his show. After an open letter from Keurig CEO, Hannity asked his supporters to stop smashing their machines, presumably in an attempt to win back Keurig's ad dollars -- or at least not further alienate an advertiser that sponsors the rest of Fox News.
But it seems like the latest example of Hannity's volatility and extremism has driven away some advertisers for good. During an interview with the AP, Media Matters president Angelo Carusone explained that “there are a dozen companies that advertised on Hannity in the past that have said they will no longer do so, and still others that are avoiding the show but not being public about their intentions.” Carusone added that a negative response to Hannity’s behavior from brands makes a difference “because that's the one that affects the advertising rates for Sean Hannity and his commercial viability.“ From the November 15 article:
Angelo Carusone, Media Matters’ president, said he was initially disheartened last weekend when the Keurig-smashing videos appeared, believing it would make other companies reluctant to risk the wrath of Hannity's supporters. But he found this wasn't so. Carusone said there are a dozen companies that advertised on Hannity in the past that have said they will no longer do so, and still others that are avoiding the show but not being public about their intentions.
He said he doesn't believe Keurig will return as an advertiser because returning would subject it to a backlash among Hannity's opponents. He said USAA was the only company he knew that said it would avoid Hannity's show and publicly changed its mind.
“What companies say about it obviously makes a difference from a public perception perspective,” he said. “But if the ads are not running because companies have put [the show] on a ‘do not run’ list, that's really the action that makes the difference here. Because that's the one that affects the advertising rates for Sean Hannity and his commercial viability.”