More Limbaugh advertisers jump ship
March 5th, 2012
09:31 AM ET
11 years ago

More Limbaugh advertisers jump ship

(CNN) – Rush Limbaugh's apology for labeling a law student a "slut" and "prostitute" failed to stem an exodus of advertisers from his radio show, as another company said Monday it was withdrawing spots from the conservative program.

AOL, along with 11 other companies, announced plans to remove ads from "The Rush Limbaugh Show," which is the most listened to talk radio show in the United States.

CNN LIVE:Go to, and CNN Mobile for the CNN Election Roundtable, a live video chat hosted by Wolf Blitzer and the CNN political team, on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET. Tune in this week for live coverage of the primaries on Super Tuesday on, on the CNN apps and on the CNN mobile web site. Follow CNN Politics on Facebook and on Twitter at #cnnelections.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," the company wrote in a post on their corporate Facebook page. "We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."

Other sponsors dropping spots from Limbaugh's show include mattress companies like Sleep Number and The Sleep Train, and companies that assist small businesses like Citrix, LegalZoom and QuickenLoans.

One company, Carbonite, a data backup service, said feedback from customers led to the decision to remove advertising from Limbaugh's show. The company's CEO said Limbaugh's apology Saturday wasn't enough to put his company's ads back on the air.

"No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady," Carbonite CEO David Friend said. "Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse."

On Monday, KPUA, a radio station in Hilo, Hawaii announced it would no longer carry the radio program, effective immediately.

"We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh's right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance. The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA," Chris Leonard, President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting said in a statement.

"Regardless of one's political views on the issue being discussed, we feel the delivery was degrading and the continued comments over several days to be egregious," Leonard continued.

In Limbaugh's apology Saturday, he admitted his "choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir."

He added, "I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Appearing on the ABC program "The View" Monday, Fluke said Limbaugh's apology was issued under pressure from advertisers.

"I don't think that a statement like this, saying that his choice of words was not the best, changes anything," Fluke said. "And especially when that statement is issued when he's under significant pressure from his sponsors who have begun to pull their support from the show."

It was not clear Monday whether other companies who suspended their advertising before Limbaugh's apology would reinstate their support following the host's apology. Calls to Sleep Number, The Sleep Train and Legal Zoom were not immediately returned.

ProFlowers, an online flower delivery service, said in a Facebook posting Sunday Limbaugh's comments were at odds with their corporate image.

"At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day," the statement read.

It continued, "Mr. Limbaugh's recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program."

On Monday, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Defense Department had no plans to stop broadcasting Rush Limbaugh's show to service members on the American Forces Network. Limbaugh's show is part of the Defense Department's policy to broadcast shows that "reflect a wide range" of opinion, Little said.

Little said he had "not heard" of any review of whether Limbaugh's show remains suitable for broadcast after the controversy surrounding Limbaugh. Little also said he could not immediately say what the standards are for whether certain broadcasts are considered suitable by the Defense Department., a veterans advocacy organization, released a statement from female service members calling on Defense Department to stop airing "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on the American Forces Network.

"Rush Limbaugh has a freedom of speech and can say what he wants, but in light of his horribly misogynistic comments, American Forces Radio should no longer give him a platform," the statement said. "Our entire military depends on troops respecting each other – women and men. There simply can be no place on military airwaves for sentiments that would undermine that respect."

On his radio show Monday, Limbaugh addressed the advertisers who dropped their spots from his program, telling his audience, "I'm sorry to see them go. They have profited handsomely from you. These advertisers who have split the scene have done very well from their access to you, my audience on this program."

He added, "That's a business decision and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore."

Outcry over Limbaugh's comments began last week after he criticized Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law, for advocating broad health care coverage for contraception at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Limbaugh made the original comments Wednesday, in which he also suggested Fluke wanted taxpayers to pay for her to have sex.

"What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says she must be paid to have sex?" Limbaugh asked. "What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."

Top Republicans and Democrats denounced the talk show host, and President Barack Obama called Fluke Friday to offer his support.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

Also see:

Poll: All tied up in Tennessee

Romney gets backing from key Republicans

Barbara Bush robo calls for Romney

Romney, Santorum tied in Ohio

Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. RickRice

    Sweet, maybe the cost of advertising will be lowered so some small businesses can afford to advertise during his show now!

    March 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Ed

    Contact Beasley Broadcasting as well and voice your disdain for him.

    March 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  3. Mike

    Limbaugh is an idiot but this chick IS acting like a you know what. She wants insurance to pay for her frivilous sexual encounters which makes rates go up for everyone. That aint right. Do as you please but dont send us the bill. So, technically, Rush is correct...but hes still a blowhard clown.

    March 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. BTB59

    I am glad to see that at least some companies care enough to make their voices heard in the only way Rush can unserstand... in his pocketbook. It's interesting to note that for three days Rush defended his statements, and made evn worse ones, saying that any woman that used contraception gotten through health care funds should make sex movies and post them as compensation.

    It wasnt until sponsers started dropping him on Saturday that he made his feeble attempt at an apology. Putting a short, carefully worded statement on his website after blasting this young woman over the airwaves for three days. Pitiful, just pitiful.

    March 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Rsprings

    If Limbaygh was a Democrat nothing would be said on this matter.

    March 5, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. JanetMermaid

    Don't forget to contact your local station that carries Limbaugh's show. Here's what I sent the Program Director of KLBJ in Austin:

    Mr. Caesar,

    As a Native Texan and long-time Austin area resident I take great pride in my state, and especially in the progressive attitudes in this great Capitol city. I am, however, saddened and disappointed that you have not dropped Rush Limbaugh from your programming after his vile, misogynistic attack on Sandra Fluke. This type of hateful, bigoted vitriol does not belong on the air, most especially not in Austin (or anywhere in Texas).

    Please do the courageous and proper thing and discontinue a show that is nothing more than one man's public platform for hate-filled rhetoric.


    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Easy E

    The guy is trash, plain and simple. The fact that people continue to listen to this drug addled loony-toon does not speak well for a large swath of the electorate.

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    "Do the math, $3,000 a year for contraceptives.... Thats a lot of sex"

    See, it's idiotic comments like that that confirm the GOBP deathcult and its braindead followers know nothing and care nothing about science. BCP costs have NO connection whatsoever with frequency of intercourse.

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Kimberly

    @John: She didn't say $3000 per year, she said $3000 over the course of law school, which is 3 years. Besides that, if anyone (including Rush) would do research, contraception doesn't have ANYTHING to do with how much sex someone has. The most common birth control pill must be taken every single day to be effective. That's whether you're having sex everyday, or once a month, or once every 6 months. Besides that, birth control pills are used for other things besides contraception, including acne, hormone imbalances, etc. Not only were Rush's comments rude and unnecessary, they were also completely untrue.

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Elindric


    You're using the same flawed math as Rush. Rush insinuated that A) She was having sex 5-6 times per day B) Birth control is taken each time a person has sex. C) Birth control pills have no other purpose than consequence free sex.

    The first is an assumption based on nothing at all. The second stems from complete ignorance of how birth control works. The third simply proves that he has never discussed birth control with any woman he has been in a relationship with.

    If you'd like to suggest that the taxpayers are paying for condoms, I can tell you that there is no health care option that pays for condoms.

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. Ann T.

    How is contraceptive coverage any different than coverage for erectile dysfunction drugs? Why doesn't Rush have a problem with that?

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. judy

    the sponsors came out more vigorisly than any of the repo candidates. The apology sucked and was seen as such. The president said the right things. As a parent I would have been proud of my daughter too. Testifying to what you believe in should not cause personal attacks by anyone. Part of the problem with politics today is people listening to jerks like rush and thinking it is ok to call people names and insult people to make their points. Rush has made millions off insulting and lying about people. About time the sponsors wised up. He shouldn't be on the air with all the hate he sends over the airways. The repo party has no balls at all and showed that to everyone by the weak response they gave. How could any of them be a leader when they can't stand up to a talk show radio host???

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Marshall

    One can dream that it might be the end of Rush Bimbo.

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. tcp

    Spot on darren! The only shame in this is that Limbaugh allowed his language to muddy the issue...

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. dave

    He doesn't even understand how birth control works. He seems to think that you need it every time you have sex. "She is having so much sex." A woman takes one pill per day, or has an IUD inserted once, not every time you have sex. If even had a clue. He does this merely to stay in the public eye, to try to remain relevant. He is not. He is not sorry he said it. It did excactly what he wanted it to do. Raised a stink, and kept his name in the news. he will weather this storm, get new advertisers, and continue with his drivel. "Conservatives" (William F Buckley would be turning in his grave) love this guy, and will eat up his hate and his poison.

    March 5, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Shelli

    I am so sick of men who think they have the right to insult women! This young lady presented herself with grace and class. Rush, you should take lessons!

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Larry L

    It's outstanding that this bigoted swine has to face some level of accountability. I only hope that the young woman has a team of lawyers working on a slander and libel case to put the nail in his coffin.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Good

    I only wish his reign would end and the severely conservative population could try rationalism again.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. crawbar

    He should not have apologized. He called things as they are. If this girl came to college to fack not to study and wants me to to pay for her sex, she deserves the names that characterize such a behaviour.
    As to the liberal rats that jump the ship and who are squealing in this blog and anywhereelse, some suddenly remembered that the harsh speech may sometimes be "unamerican", you better watch your rattish breed speech and see how American it is. Calling Lora Ingram "slut" just for the exercise of her free speech right in telling the truth in a civil way is OK with you, rats. But calling this fluke what she is is not. Rats are rats and libs are being rats through their whole history.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    @CB: "Whether on the left or right, or wherever you place yourself, the hostility towards those with opposing views cannot continue to take this path without it inevitably leading to physical violence. It just can't."

    That's the GOP game plan: They are trying to tear our country apart; united we stand, divided we fall. People voting out of fear and frustration are more susceptible to manipulation, more easily lead to blame a convenient scapegoat for their troubles, instead of accepting unpleasant truths.

    The GOP plays to the basest aspects of human nature, willfully and without regard to the havoc they wreck. They are the definition of evil in my book. Their desperate moves are all about one thing: Regaining power and control at any cost.

    Why? Because the GOP has nothing to offer our country. All of their economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Tim

    We will accept nothing less than that blowhard being fired. He is a cancer and anyone who sees anything positive that he does is stage 4.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. mattski

    Rush needs to be off the air. He feeds a hate mentality that's ruining this country.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Cosmos42

    I think Rush is long overdue for fading into obscurity. Him, his rhetoric, and his fear-mongering are obsolete.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  24. MaryM

    Thank you to all of the many Advertisers that have chosen NOT to support Rush.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. San Diego

    This game plays out every 5 years a radio talk show host offends someone e.g. Imus. They then lose sponsors and apologize, and go on vacation come back and every things ok. My point is stop being appalled every time something like this happens blowhards like Limbaugh have no legitimacy when people don't pay attention to them, thats why they pull these stunts. Finally there is one inaccuracy in this article Limbaugh is not the most listened to show in America Howard Stern is don't give people more credit than they deserve.

    March 5, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12