May 30, 2017

Advertisers caught in middle of prime time cable war


A media watchdog on the right is going after advertisers on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" after left-leaning groups successfully targeted Fox News' Sean Hannity advertisers last week.

Why it matters: There is a growing trend of advertisers being caught in partisan battles. Earlier this year, Sleeping Giants, a social media activism group, publicly outed Breitbart advertisers on Twitter, resulting in over 1,000 of advertisers pulling their ads from the website. Similar ad boycotts of YouTube and Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" this year demonstrate the growing pressure placed on brands to align themselves with brand-safe content.

On Tuesday, #StoptheScalpings, a new campaign launched by former radio hosts Brian Maloney and Melanie Morgan under the Media Equalizer group, posted a list of Maddow' advertisers with contact information, urging viewers to call them and ask why they are affiliated with "outfits that do not uphold the Constitution." Hannity has reportedly invited the campaign leaders to appear on his show. They were responding to a campaign by Media Matters pressuring advertisers to remove their ads from Hannity's program.

Update: USAA said it will reinstate ads on 'Hannity' as well as other cable networks after the Media Matters report was published last week.

Go deeper

Scoop: Amazon's local podcast play

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon is looking to invest in localized podcast content, like news and sports, sources tell Axios. Sports content is top of mind as the company plans to buy up more TV rights and have adjacent audio content for users.

Why it matters: Amazon sees a strategic advantage in podcasts by leveraging Alexa voice tech to help users discover personalized content.

The oil stakes of Trump vs. Biden

Reproduced from Rapidan Energy Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. oil production is in a steep decline, but one question is how much November's elections will affect how much it does — or doesn't — bounce back.

Why it matters: The powerful price and demand headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic are creating a financial crisis in the oil patch.

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