Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz Pull Commercials From TV Show Over Harassment Scandal

An investigation started by the New York Times revealed a harassment scandal that was caused by TV host Bill O’Reilly.
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Photo: Mercedes-Benz
The journalists discovered that the most watched host on cable TV was at the center of a scandal after he had harassed five women he previously worked with during his career.  The network paid approximately $13 million in settlements to those victims, and the case made headlines after it was uncovered.

This news did not go well with many brands that had advertising clips during the show, which cost a consistent amount of money. While we do not have figures or estimates on that, advertising on a successful TV show is extremely expensive, no matter what client or product buys the space.

We would like to note that Bill O’Reilly, the host of The O’Reilly Factor, which is the show that had some of its sponsors quit their ad slots after the scandal erupted, denied the allegations against him.

Mr. O’Reilly stated that his role at the network made him a target, and that he is vulnerable to lawsuits because of his position. The host noted that nobody had filed a report against him at Human Resources, not even an anonymous complaint through the dedicated hotline, he added.

Fox News reportedly extended the presenter's contract, and he is still considered one of the most valuable personalities of the network. Each of his primetime shows rakes in millions of viewers each night, which leads to consistent revenue from advertising.

That did not stop Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz from pulling their commercials from the show. The two brands decided that the scandal makes the show an inappropriate environment in which to advertise their products at the moment.

The spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz reaffirmed the brand’s support for and the importance of women in every aspect of their business. Hyundai’s officials announced they decided to reallocate their upcoming advertising spots to programs and companies that share their “values of inclusion and diversity,” and have pledged to monitor and evaluate the situation for future decisions.

Lexus still has commercials on the show, and their representatives told CNN that those spots are part of a “broad ranging media package,” which involves ads appearing on a variety of cable television programs. The Japanese brand will continue to monitor the situation, and adjust accordingly in respect to all people.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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