In the wake of Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic attacks against Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, fifty-one of his show’s advertisers have withdrawn support.
Radio-Info.com reports that Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, is circulating a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid “environments likely to stir negative sentiments,” among them Ford, GM, Toyota, Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm, McDonald’s and Subway. In other words, companies care what consumers think – after all, it affects their bottom line – and are willing to withdraw or withhold advertising from questionable programs, sites, and media outlets when it is in their best interest.
So here’s an idea: If ad-supported websites permit the existence of a nasty, attacking and cyberbullying culture – either through active encouragement or by turning a blind eye to what happens on their properties by users and commenters – let advertisers know you’re upset. Let them know that as consumers, you don’t want to be affiliated with companies that aren’t taking seriously the importance of fostering an online culture in which individuals can fully engage and contribute without fear or threat of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment, or lies.