Is this the beginning of the end? Tonight, it was reported by Bloomberg that two major advertisers of the “Imus in the Morning” show – Staples and Bigelow Tea – had put stop payments on their checks. Addtionally, it was reported the Procter & Gamble, the venerable consumer goods company, was pulling its support as well.
Forget Rev. Al Sharpton. If CBS ultimately cans Don Imus for his repulsive remarks last week about the Rutges basketball team, it won’t be because anything the right Reverend says or does. It’ll be because Madison Avenue decides the IntM is finally too tainted, too despicable, too dangerous to hawk its wares.
Staples spokesman Paul Capelli said he company ran its final television ad on the Imus simulcast on Monday. “Recent comments that were made on the program about the Rutgers basketball team prompted us to revisit our decision to advertise and we decided to stop advertising on the program,” he said.
Bigelow Tea co-president Cindi Bigelow pulled its ads and told Bloomberg that future sponsorship is “in jeopardy.”
“Our company does not condone or support in any way the unacceptable comments made by Imus,” Bigelow said. “We are deeply saddened by Imus’ remarks.”
The biggest hurt may come from the loss of P & G bucks. “Effective Friday, April 6, we pulled all P&G’s brand advertising from the MSNBC daytime rotation,” P&G spokeswoman Jeannie Tharrington told The Toronto Star. She added P&G would not advertise again “until we can evaluate the Imus situation fully.”
Cue the dirge. If more advertisers follow suit, the two-week suspension levied by MSNBC and CBS on Thursday might turn into a forever-more reality.
Why” Imus generates a whopping 25 percent of CBS Radio’s annual ad revenue, or about $12.7 million, Bloomberg estimates. Any decline in that figure would hurt like a jhot comb on your scalp.
If you’re keeping score, here’s a list of national firms that advertised on Monday’s simulcast on MSNBC:
Cargill (food production/distribution)
Head-on pain reliever
Ditech (home loans)
Prilosec (heartburn relief pills)
Idearc Media (Yellow Pages)
Scottrade (on-line trading)
Smith and Wollensky Steakhouse
American Century Investments
Delta Air Lines
Mass Mutual Investments
ServPro (carpet cleaning)
Commercial Financial Services Association
Credit Card Debt.com
Do with it what you will.