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

17 mins ago - World

Kremlin says Trump discussed inviting Russia to G7 in call with Putin

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their bilateral meeting at the G20 Osaka Summit 2019, in Osaka, Japan in 2019. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on Monday about Trump's plans to expand September's G7 meeting in Washington to include Russia, according to the Russian government's readout of the call.

The big picture: The phone call between the two leaders, which the Kremlin says was initiated by Trump, comes amid six consecutive days of mass unrest in the U.S. over police brutality and racial inequality. The White House confirmed the call took place and said a readout was forthcoming.

Facebook employees stage "virtual walkout"

Screenshot of an image some Facebook employees are adding to their internal profiles, with or without the hashtag, to protest company policy.

"Dozens" of Facebook employees staged a "virtual walkout" Monday over the company's decision not to take action against President Trump's provocative messages in the face of nationwide protests against police violence, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: While Twitter added fact-check labels and hid the president's most inflammatory tweet — "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" — Facebook has said Trump's statements do not violate its policies, and that the platform aims to promote free speech.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump lashes out at governors, urges them to "dominate" protesters

President Trump berated the nation’s governors in a video teleconference call Monday, calling many of them "weak" and demanding tougher crackdowns on the protests that erupted throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd, according to multiple reports.

The big picture: Trump blamed violence on the "the radical left" and told the governors, who were joined by law enforcement and national security officials, that they have to "dominate" protesters and "arrest people" in order to bring an end to the unrest.