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Sexual Harassment Claims Lead Eli Lilly (LLY), Pfizer (PFE), Sanofi (SNY) and More to Pull the Plug on Ads From Bill O'Reilly's Show

4/6/2017 5:58:16 AM

Sexual Harassment Claims Lead Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Sanofi and More Pull the Plug on Ads From Bill O'Reilly's Show April 6, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

NEW YORK – At least four major drugmakers have pulled advertising from a Fox News Channel program as conservative talk-show host Bill O’Reilly faces allegations of sexual harassment.

Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), Bayer AG (BAYZF) and Sanofi (SNY) are among the number of major advertisers who have pulled advertising dollars from controversial television host’s programming. Other large companies that have pulled ad revenue include Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Vision Works, CarFax, LegalZoom and more. The news channel said it was redirecting advertising purchases to other programs, Bloomberg reported this morning. A full list of companies opting to pull advertising from the show can be found at Forbes. According to a list compiled by CBS, Pfizer was estimated $2.61 million in advertising on The O’Reilly Factor. According to estimates, Bayer was spending $2.42 million; GSK was spending $1.85 million and Sanofi was spending $1.4 million on The O’Reilly Factor. CBS did not provide information on how much Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly was spending to promote its diabetes treatment Trulicty, although it pointed out the company’s commercials in its article.

According to the New York Times, as cited by The Boston Globe, GlaxoSmithKline had been advertising its Flonase allergy spray and Breathe Right nasal strips, among other products on the program. The company said it suspended advertising on O’Reilly’s show while the company “assesses the situation.”
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Allegations against O’Reilly, host of “The O’Reilly Factor,” have lead the commentator to provide payments to five women in exchange for their promise not to sue or talk about their accusations against O’Reilly, Bloomberg said, citing The New York Times. Last year, allegations of sexual harassment lead to the departure of former Fox Chairman Roger Ailes.

The drugmakers have largely remained silent about their decisions to pull advertising revenue from one of the highest-rated programs on cable television. On social media, a number of activists have taken to using #dumporeilly to voice their displeasure at the commentator as well as companies that continue to advertise on the program, including Angie’s List, a website that crowdsources reviews of local businesses to help consumers find the best service providers.

The social media activism is similar to advertising backlash against Breitbart, the online news site that was accused of being an outlet for racism and the “alt-right” movement, which has elements of white nationalism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In November, following the election of President Donald Trump, some life science companies, including Novo Nordisk (NVO), pulled their ad dollars from the website.

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