Those of us who've been hammering Wal-Mart for one ghastly act or another for years are raising our eyebrows these days. The largest--and often greediest--retailer in the world has done some strangely marvelous things of late (See "Food Inc.") and the latest is to pull its advertising from cable nutjob Glenn Beck's show. Wal-Mart is one of 20 huge advertisers reportedly dumping Beck (we wish we could say "dumping on Beck," but proprietary prevails).
Eight pulled out today, according to several sources, Daily Kos among them. Others among the eight (whom we hope you will patronize) include Allergan (Restasis' maker), Ally Bank (GMC Financial Services), Best Buy, Broadway Security, CVS, Re-Bath and Travelocity. Others on the gone list are ConAgra, GEICO, Lawyers.com, Men's Wearhouse, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Roche, SC Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Sargento, and State Farm Insurance.
Understand, if you would, that pulling an ad--a very, very lucrative ad--from a network show is a big deal. It is the kind of market pressure that could offer a civilizing effect to loose cannons like Beck, who recently called President Obama a racist and said Obama "has a deep-seated hatred for white people."
CVS' corporate communications VP Carolyn Castle is quoted as saying, "While advertising on Fox is part of our communication plan, we had not requested time on Glenn Beck's show specifically. We have instructed our advertising agency to inform Fox to ensure Glenn Beck's program is not part of our advertising plan.
"Our position is simple: We support vigorous debate, especially around policy issues that affect millions of Americans, but we expect it to be informed, inclusive and respectful, in keeping with our company's core values and commitment to diversity."