Apr 4, 2017

Advertisers are the new media watchdog

If we've learned anything from recent advertising controversies it's that when united, advertisers can force publishers to make changes.

Why it matters: Less than three days after the NY Times report that Fox News had settled multiple sexual harassment lawsuits against Bill O'Reilly, at least 20 major advertisers announced they were pulling their ads from the network's biggest money-maker, The O'Reilly Factor. Fox has not indicated any plans to cut O'Reilly from its primetime slot yet, but if more advertisers continue to boycott the show the network may be forced to take action in order to save its bottom line.

YouTube Controversy: Beginning in early March, advertisers began pulling video ads from YouTube because they were appearing next to extremist content. After dozens of advertisers, worth millions of dollars, pulled their buys, Google apologized and vowed to revise its ad policies to convince advertisers that their platform was brand-safe.

Breitbart controversy: Last month, advertisers blacklisted Bretibart News from ad plans due to controversial content and after the site's biggest star, Milo Yiannopoulos, was forced to resign over comments about pedophilia. After over 1,000 advertisers pulled their ads, Breitbart executives told Fox Business that the association with the far-right was hurting their business and they planned to pivot to a more mainstream audience.

This isn't a totally new idea: In 2007, NBC announced they would no longer simulcast Don Imus' show Imus in the Morning, after dozens of advertisers, starting with Procter and Gamble, pulled their ads. In 2011, Glenn Beck resigned from Fox News after hundreds of advertisers pulled out due to controversial comments he made on air.

Go deeper

The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health