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Rush Limbaugh’s Slut Comments Cost Radio Companies Millions

November 28, 2012

Rush’s mouth runneth away with him, and his vitriol against birth control cost his advertisers millions after listeners boycotted their companies.

Lew Dickey, the CEO of Cumulus, was speaking to financial analysts about his companies’ results. The boycott — which saw scores of advertisers leave after Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” because of her birth-control advocacy — had “hit us pretty hard.”

Dickey said that Cumulus had lost “a couple of million bucks in the first quarter and a couple of million bucks in quarter two.” He claimed that the losses accounted for one percent of the 3.5 percent loss in revenue that Cumulus suffered over this period.

It’s the first time any sort of monetary figure has been given about the impact of the boycott. Cumulus is also a relatively small player where Limbaugh is concerned, airing his show on just 38 stations around the country. Dickey’s comments could mean that companies that have a bigger stake in Limbaugh’s show were hit harder.

For his part, Limbaugh has claimed that the boycott had a negligible impact, and that many of the advertisers who left his show have been clamoring to return.

The old adage of put your money where your mouth is seems to have caught up with Rush, and he has become a liability. Here is a sampling of the advertisers’ commentary:

Carbonite pulled its advertising after the stunt: “We are immediately discontinuing our advertisements on Limbaugh. Here is statement from Carbonite CEO David Friend: http://t.co/hYqFqTca”

“Citrix pulled its advertising: ” We have listened to our customers & have decided to cease our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show immediately. https://t.co/LpJVaOiX”
Quicken: Due to continued inflammatory comments– along w/valuable feedback from clients & team members– QL has suspended ads on Rush Limbaugh program

Sleep Number Sara:Recent comments by Rush Limbaugh do not align w/our values, so we made decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program.

LegalZoom:@msmagazine As of today, LegalZoom has suspended all advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show.

Atthesleeptrain: We don’t condone negative comments directed toward any group. In response, we are currently pulling our ads from Rush with Rush Limbaugh.

(SIDE NOTE: cracks me up that mattress manufacturing groups came out against the ad pretty strongly, bottom line for them may be that going to bed has more than one connotation)

AOL dropped its advertising, as well as @taxresolution, and more.  There are listings of 36 advertisers pulling their money from the show listed on the link in the above quote from the  Huffington Post.  Thanks, Huff Post, for a great slide show!

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