Advertisers are having trouble navigating the new “angry America, in the aftermath of the 2016 election, which has polarized America’s consumer base.” Variety’s Brian Steinberg reports:
Marketers ranging from USAA, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai to T. Rowe Price and Delta Air Lines have come under pressure for supporting Fox News Channel programs like “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity,” both of which have come under scrutiny in recent weeks, or, more recently, a revival of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” produced by New York’s Public Theater. When USAA announced its intention to remove its commercials from “Hannity,” conservative advocacy groups urged it to pull commercials from MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.” Eventually, USAA returned its commercials to its regular rotation.
Advertisers have always had the ability to pull commercials from media properties that caused them angst or angered their consumers. But they were rarely as public about it as they have been in recent months. … Now, the practice is becoming commonplace. Activists often monitor advertiser support of a particular outlet, then throw a spotlight on the sponsors to try to get consumers to demand the cessation of financial support.