Mr. Beck began exposing self-avowed Communist Van Jones who President Obama appointed as one of his Czars (oops, I mean "special advisers"). Van Jones founded the hate group "Color of Change." After Glenn Beck started exposing him, Color of Change began a mostly ineffectual effort to get advertisers to drop their advertising on the Glenn Beck program. A few cowardly companies have knuckled under, which brings me the subject of today's post -- GEICO. Here is GEICO's stated rationale as sent in a email to me, with my comments interspersed:
08-25-09How dumb is this statement? Withdrawing the advertising that draws GEICO directly into the controversy maelstrom.
Thank you for your Internet request.
If you are a policyholder we thank you for being with GEICO and we want to tell you more about this matter. If you are not, we also want you to learn more.
This week we took action to move our marketing messages from the Glenn Beck show and you are wondering why.
Well, you deserve an answer.
If the inflammatory nature of the comments on a program overshadows our message and causes GEICO to be drawn into a national debate, we are likely to reconsider where we place our marketing messages, which is what we did.
GEICO delivers very important messages through its major marketing campaigns: we’re saving customers’ dollars … we’re easy to do business with … we’re looking out for our policyholders. That’s what we hope the public hears and sees and focuses on.And how, exactly, is withdrawing advertising from the bravest man on TV "looking out for policyholders?" Glenn Beck's ratings are through the roof. Isn't in the interests of both policyholders and stockholders to get GEICO's message out to the largest audiences?
As a company, we do not take positions on controversial issues.But in this case, by withdrawing advertising in response to a hate group's demand, GEICO takes a position.
As an advertiser, while a national debate on issues can be healthy and appropriate, we don’t see ourselves in the role of taking part in those debates.It is the highly publicized withdrawal of advertising that places GEICO squarely in the debate in a way that continuing a past practice unchanged would not.
Our business is auto insurance. We want to bring people value and we attempt to reach large audiences with that message.Of course, this makes no sense at all. How can a large viewership/listenership be a bad thing? How does the Glenn Beck message "drown out" his advertisers? That is not reasoning. It is sophistry.
It is of little benefit to us if a program gets so much attention that our message is drowned out.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.The bottom line is that GEICO, by withdrawing its advertising did EXACTLY what it claimed it did not want to do. It is placing its apparently political statement (protestations notwithstanding) at the center of controversy.
Thank you for using GEICO's on-line services!
We appreciate your business and hope you have a great day!
The folks at this company are either lying about the reason for withdrawing their advertising, or they are incompetent. They should have known the withdrawal would accomplish the opposite of the stated purpose.
Would you want to do business with a company that foolish?
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