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Ophois
As you may or may not have heard, Glenn Beck seems to think our Commander in Chief is a racist.
I really have no idea what he bases this on, and if anyone can help me understand, I would be grateful. But that's not really my point here.

A whole slew of advertisers have either pulled their ads from Becks' show, or have made announcements to do so.
Quote:
More advertisers are pulling their spots from Glenn Beck's Fox News program in the wake of the host's accusations that President Obama is "a racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people."
ConAgra (maker of Healthy Choice products), Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, and RadioShack have all signaled their intention to move advertising from Beck's 5 p.m. show. The companies join Lawyers.com, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, SC Johnson and Geico.
A network spokeswoman explained that the defecting advertisers "have redistributed to other programming on the network, so there has been no revenue lost."
Broadcasting & Cable article here.

The last line in that paragraph is upsetting. These advertisers are simply moving their commercials from one FOX show to another. So... what's the point? All it does is give Beck more ammunition to play the 'underdog' card, being victimized and censored by 'the left-wing media conspiracy'. Publicly, it makes these companies look good, like they are making a statement about who they will or will not associate with based on principals. My problem is, if they are going to pull their ads, fine. But go ALL THE WAY. They are still paying Becks' salary.

Does anyone else find this sort of 'faux boycotting' to be half-assed? Are these companies just as bad, if not worse, than Beck? I mean, they come out publicly and essentially say "We will not advertise for someone who spews vitriolic hatred towards the President", but then they turn around and give that advertising to other shows on the same network, effectively doing nothing to hurt Beck. In fact, they are still supporting him, albeit indirectly.

"There has been no revenue lost".
Isn't that the whole point of a boycott, to hurt someones revenue?
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:


"There has been no revenue lost".
Isn't that the whole point of a boycott, to hurt someones revenue?

That's not the point of this 'boycott'.
They just want to distance themselves from any person who says politically incorrect things on the taboo subject of racism.

They're advertising on Fox for a reason, it makes them money. If they're afraid that an association with Beck would loose money for them, then they'll avoid such an association. But, as long as their association with Fox gives them a net gain in money, they'll continue it.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
Does anyone else find this sort of 'faux boycotting' to be half-assed? Are these companies just as bad, if not worse, than Beck? I mean, they come out publicly and essentially say "We will not advertise for someone who spews vitriolic hatred towards the President", but then they turn around and give that advertising to other shows on the same network, effectively doing nothing to hurt Beck. In fact, they are still supporting him, albeit indirectly.
I'm more inclined to believe that those companies actually support Fox (for financial reasons such as Ocalhoun pointed out as well), but want to specifically sensor Beck, but also for financial reasons (in other words make a good impression on the viewers who they want to get their message too). Makes business sense for me.

I've never seen Obama as a racist, but that one incident with the policeman who had to calm down his Harvard Professor buddie made me wonder about that. I believe the Harvard Professor overreacted because he was "out of control" and also because the policeman was white. Racism in reverse. For the rest .... so far ... I have not seen anything out of the ordinary that would suggest he is a racist. But if that Harvard Professor is a close buddie of his, I have to wonder what discussions he sometimes has in private. He is politically very correct in his behaviour but personally may have some axes to grind. Given all the struggles that Black people had to go through perhaps I would not blame him for that.
Ophois
The thing is, they aren't censoring Beck, or even punishing him in any way. His show does not suffer, because the revenue still goes to FOX, which continues to fund his show and his insane rants. They aren't even distancing themselves from him all that much, considering they are just moving their ads in one direction or the other by an hour. It's a PR 'act'. Nothing more.

These advertisers just want to look like they are doing the right thing. If they feel that Becks' comments are worthy of punishment, then they should pull their ads from FOX, completely. Otherwise, they change nothing, and Beck still gets their money.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
The thing is, they aren't censoring Beck, or even punishing him in any way. His show does not suffer, because the revenue still goes to FOX, which continues to fund his show and his insane rants. They aren't even distancing themselves from him all that much, considering they are just moving their ads in one direction or the other by an hour. It's a PR 'act'. Nothing more.

These advertisers just want to look like they are doing the right thing. If they feel that Becks' comments are worthy of punishment, then they should pull their ads from FOX, completely. Otherwise, they change nothing, and Beck still gets their money.
I was thinking about it differently when I checked up on the ratings. Apparently Glenn Beck had more viewers than the combined competition every night last week. So if the advertisers withdrew their sponsorship from the Glenn Beck show, then obviously they will have lost out on the difference in the numbers of viewers who would have purchased their products if they had run their advertising with the Glenn Beck show (I presume the sponsorship is in the form of advertising, isn't it?). Yes, the Station may not have lost, but the advertising that got shifted to other programmes may not have produced the same results:

Source: http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/09/27/glenn-beck-had-more-viewers-than-the-competition-combined-every-night-last-week/28608
Ophois
I'm not saying the advertisers should have taken a loss. But they did not disassociate themselves with Beck or FOX, and they did not cost Beck or FOX much money at all with their so-called boycott. The entire point of a boycott is to punish a person or business, in a financial sense, because of their views or practices.

deanhills wrote:
Yes, the Station may not have lost, but the advertising that got shifted to other programmes may not have produced the same results

The whole point of these advertisers boycotting is to hurt the pocketbooks at FOX, in order to let them know that Glenn Beck is a liability, due to his racist ramblings. Simply moving them from one show to another doesn't hurt a multi billion dollar corporate giant like FOX in the least. Like I said, it was nothing more than a PR move for these advertisers. It was a disingenuous move.
jmi256
From a logistical point, advertisers buy space months in advance. So it's not as easy as just pulling an ad at the last minute. There is a contract between the network and the advertiser to provide XX (or in FOX's case XX,XXX,XXX) amount of views/impressions for a certain demographic. It can be done, but usually at a huge loss to the advertiser. And as pointed out above, most businesses are interested in generating business/revenue, not making political statements or getting involved in controversy.

The funny thing is whether you agree with Glenn Beck or not, he's laughing all the way to the bank. A year ago he was a relative nobody, but the criticism from the left has elevated his brand at least tenfold. And he has then been able to parley that increase in awareness to expose Obama's "Green Czar" for what he is, and also expose ACORN. On top of that he has a book coming out and will no doubt make tons of $$ off of that thanks to the left’s inept attempt to squelch him. If I was him, I’d be more worried that the left stops targeting him.
Ophois
jimi256 wrote:
And as pointed out above, most businesses are interested in generating business/revenue, not making political statements or getting involved in controversy.
That's exactly what I was getting at. Why bother with a fake boycott? A boycott is about principal, be it political or whatever, and profit gain on the boycotter's end should be the last thing on their minds. If they want to make a statement, then simply moving their ads to an hour earlier or later falls way short of that statement.
Quote:
The funny thing is whether you agree with Glenn Beck or not, he's laughing all the way to the bank. A year ago he was a relative nobody, but the criticism from the left has elevated his brand at least tenfold. And he has then been able to parley that increase in awareness to expose Obama's "Green Czar" for what he is, and also expose ACORN.
Means to an end kinda guy, are you? It's Ok for Beck to be a royal racist douchebag, and spew lies about the President(which people were calling treason during the last administration) as long as he promotes anti-Democrat sentiment? I wouldn't care if he was sitting on a map to the Ark of the Covenant, promoting this guy at all means you are helping to promote ALL of his views, not just the ones you happen to agree with.

That's the problem with whackjob pundits on either side of the aisle. Even if they have the occasional good point, any support given to them(or their employers) supports all of their other screwball ideas.
handfleisch
Ophois wrote:
It's Ok for Beck to be a royal racist douchebag, and spew lies about the President(which people were calling treason during the last administration) as long as he promotes anti-Democrat sentiment? I wouldn't care if he was sitting on a map to the Ark of the Covenant, promoting this guy at all means you are helping to promote ALL of his views, not just the ones you happen to agree with.


Exactly. It's the same morally bankrupt argument people used with Limbaugh when he was building his empire off of hate and lies. "Ha ha the more you criticize him, the more money he makes". Therefore rich = superior, no matter what. It's great if someone gets wealthy, no matter how -- pimping, lying, inciting hatred, it's all the same and doesn't matter.

I have always found this a very ugly and twisted excuse for a point of view that unfortunately often passes for normal.
jmi256
Ophois wrote:
jimi256 wrote:
And as pointed out above, most businesses are interested in generating business/revenue, not making political statements or getting involved in controversy.

That's exactly what I was getting at. Why bother with a fake boycott? A boycott is about principal, be it political or whatever, and profit gain on the boycotter's end should be the last thing on their minds. If they want to make a statement, then simply moving their ads to an hour earlier or later falls way short of that statement.


I think we’re making the same point from different stances. I agree that the boycott was foolish and impotent, but on the part of the left-wing rabble-rousers who tried to attack Beck. I’ve actually never watched a Beck show (other than snippets posted on left-wing sites), but it seems the guy is just trying to make a name for himself, the same as the pundits on the left. The left’s inept attempts to silence him are just making them look stupid as businesses continue to do what they are supposed to do: sell goods and services to consumers, and deliver value to their shareholders. If you think businesses should be used to promote a certain political stance, I’d say go out and start one and run it that way. But to expect all businesses to adopt your point of view just because you want them to is simply moronic.

Ophois wrote:
jimi256 wrote:
The funny thing is whether you agree with Glenn Beck or not, he's laughing all the way to the bank. A year ago he was a relative nobody, but the criticism from the left has elevated his brand at least tenfold. And he has then been able to parley that increase in awareness to expose Obama's "Green Czar" for what he is, and also expose ACORN.

Means to an end kinda guy, are you?

Not really. I actually have a strong sense that there is Right and Wrong in this world. I find Moral Relativists weak in character and simple in thought. But I am a realist. In a perfect world, there would be a clear delineation between news and entertainment, and journalists would be principled men and women who strive to remove their own biases from there reporting as much as they can. Alas, we don’t live in such a world, and are faced with a media that’s predominantly leftist with a few commentators, such as Beck, who represent a differing view. But I don’t really have a problem with even that to be honest. I think one of the great things about the US is that we have freedom of speech that allows people like Beck to report on whatever they want, regardless of how vehemently the left wing wishes to remove his voice.
Ophois
jimi256 wrote:
I think we’re making the same point from different stances.
I think so too. It was a total mistake for the people on the left to attack Beck and pressure companies into a faux boycott of his show. They should have just ignored him, it would have been much better for their cause. But media being what it is, they have to have a story, and they have to have an enemy. And when you see a guy like Beck acting like a clown, it's hard not to say something.
Quote:
If you think businesses should be used to promote a certain political stance, I’d say go out and start one and run it that way. But to expect all businesses to adopt your point of view just because you want them to is simply moronic.
Absolutely not. I don't want companies to promote political causes, but when they take up the flag of 'principals', going half-way is a cop out of the lowest form. They just played both sides of the game. You said earlier that Beck was the winner here. Sort of. He certainly is gaining in popularity. But it's these companies that really won. People are applauding them for having the cajones to distance themselves from Beck, when in reality they are still making money from him and his employers at FOX. They win the PR game as well as the money game.
Quote:
I think one of the great things about the US is that we have freedom of speech that allows people like Beck to report on whatever they want, regardless of how vehemently the left wing wishes to remove his voice.
I agree. I don't think Beck should be silenced by the Government. But we aren't talking about Government control of speech here. He has the right to say, on his show, whatever FOX allows him to say, it's their dime, after all. And their advertisers have the right to pull funding on the basis of his wild accusations and hateful rhetoric, ultimately costing FOX so much advertising money that they see him as a liability, and let him go.

Which is where the so-called boycott comes in. We agree that it was a stupid move, but if it's a move that advertisers are going to make, I see it as a cowardly way to make it. They did what they did for PR purposes only. That's a sneaky, cowardly, disgusting way to protest Beck's behavior under the guise of 'principals'.
jmi256
Ophois wrote:

People are applauding them for having the cajones to distance themselves from Beck, when in reality they are still making money from him and his employers at FOX. They win the PR game as well as the money game.


The only people who are “applauding” the advertisers’ actions are the left-wing whiners who have been attacking Beck. They are just too dense to really understand that the attention they have brought to this relatively obscure commentator has actually increased his presence. I never even heard of the guy before the left started their attacks, but now you can’t go to a news site without seeing some story mentioning him. Yeah, maybe they were able to force some advertisers to shift their ads to different time slots for the time being, but they also helped bolster his image and following.

Like I said, I’ve only seen snippets of his show, but I find it hard to believe that 100% of it is comprised of his “rants.” That would make for boring TV and would get old fast. I’m sure at least 90% of it is more topic driven. So an open-minded person sees a rant about Beck within a “news” article, a blog, or even a forum topic like this, and they decide to see for themselves what all the hoopla is about. They may go to YouTube or Hulu (not sure if he’s on there, though), or even tune in for 15 minutes to see what all the fuss is about. Now, my theory is that conservatives/libertarians more accurately represent center America (political spectrum wise), so in those 15 minutes, Beck has a chance to strike a chord with those new viewers. When he says things like most Americans are happy with the quality and access of their healthcare, so instead of deforming it through a massive overhaul that no one really believes will work (as Obama wants to do), why not make some targeted reforms that optimize the system; or an organization that promotes and attempts to facilitate defrauding the US government (and therefore taxpayers) shouldn’t then receive additional US taxpayer money; or that Roman Polanski should face justice for raping that 13-yr-old child, no matter how much Hollywood liberals like his movies, people can relate because these are commonsense ideas.

So what happens next is people say to themselves, “Hey I agree with that. His views aren’t as extremist as the fringe left says.” So they continue to watch and he increases his following while the left has lost even more credibility. As his ratings and viewership go up, ad rates on his program goes up, and he/Fox makes even more money. All because of the free advertising and PR that the fringe left has given them on a golden platter. That’s why he’s laughing all the way to the bank.


Ophois wrote:

Which is where the so-called boycott comes in. We agree that it was a stupid move, but if it's a move that advertisers are going to make, I see it as a cowardly way to make it. They did what they did for PR purposes only. That's a sneaky, cowardly, disgusting way to protest Beck's behavior under the guise of 'principals'.


See, there's the rub. The advertisers were never making a protest, and definitely weren't doing so under the guise of "principals." They were merely responding to pressure from the fringe left, who decided to attack Beck. A company that is advertising on a national network, like Fox, is most likely to be public traded, or at least have several shareholders. This wouldn’t be 100% of the cases, but I’m willing to bet a large percentage. And by law, the heads of these publicly traded companies would face criminal and civil action if they were to put their “principals” ahead of the interest of the business. So principals are not a factor. But I actually see this failure on the part of the fringe left as a symptom of a much larger problem. The left lacks a basic understanding of how business works, yet they would presume that they know better than those who are actually involved in business. I’m not saying that businesses don’t make mistakes or that “business” is something hard to figure out, but most fringers rely on knee-jerk reaction rather than some applied commonsense and thoughtful strategy.
ocalhoun
Ophois wrote:

The whole point of these advertisers boycotting is to hurt the pocketbooks at FOX, in order to let them know that Glenn Beck is a liability, due to his racist ramblings.

As I mentioned earlier, that is NOT the point of the advertisers' actions.
They don't care about Glen Beck being a liability, his ramblings or FOX's pocketbooks. They just don't want a public image of being associated with him.

It IS a big PR scheme; these companies doing the advertising are not trying to change the world, they're just out to make money.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
It IS a big PR scheme; these companies doing the advertising are not trying to change the world, they're just out to make money.
I am totally agreed with you. For them this is purely business. They are only in it for making money. All they care is how many viewers get to watch the advertisement of their product and how many viewers get to be convinced to go out and buy the product.

From a contrarian point of view, I wonder whether indirectly they have been responsible for increasing the number of ratings of people watching Beck's show? So by announcing a "popular" move or going controversial in their actions they are attracting more viewers to the programmes? Clever marketing move?
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