(NNPA)—Evidently JosBanks doesn’t want African-Americans and other progressives to purchase clothes from their stores. TDAmeritrade apparently wants Blacks to buy and sell stocks, but from someone else. And those sun-drenched ads urging you to visit Sandals resorts in the Caribbean inexplicably don’t want Blacks to go to those hotels and spas on the largely Black islands. The Video Professor objects to African-Americans ordering his products. Even the people at The Scooter Store don’t want African-American seniors scooting around on their brand of scooters.
At least, that’s the message each of the aforementioned companies is conveying by continuing to advertise on Glenn Beck’s controversial television program on the Fox network. Under pressure, more than 60 companies, including General Mills, Direct TV, Mercedes-Benz, GEICO, State Farm, Best Buy, Proctor & Gamble and a chief JosBanks competitor, Men’s Warehouse, have pulled their commercials from Beck’s show. But more than two dozen companies are continuing to advertise on the show, thumbing their nose at African-American consumers and those who sympathize with them.
On July 28, Beck accused President Obama of being a racist. He said the president, who is biracial, has “a deep-seated hatred of White people”
ColorOfChange.org, an African-American Internet advocacy group, organized a boycott of companies running commercials on the controversial program. The group was joined by two other Internet-driven organizations, BoycottFoxNews.com and Democrats.com, which bills itself as “the aggressive progressives.”
More than 60 firms pulled the plug on the program, ordering Fox network to place their spots on other shows.
According to a list posted on Democrats.com, the following companies still advertised on Beck’s show as of Sept. 9:
Accu-Chek (Roche); Bosley.com; BuyWaterJet.com; CancerCenter.com;
Carbonite.com; Cash4Gold.com; Consumer Debt Advocate; Cooney & Conway;
EasyWater.com (Freije); EmpireToday.com; EncoreDental.com; Hydrolyze; Inhalerette;
Johnson Law Group; JosBank.com; LearCapital.com; LibertyMedical.com; Merit Financial; MikeBloomberg.com; NecklineSlimmer.com; OxiClean; PulaskiLawFirm.com; RoslandCapital.com; Sandals.com; ServPro.com; SmartBalance;
TDAmeritrade; TheScooterStore.com; TheVillages.com; TopDot.com; VeteranMeso.com
VideoProfessor.com; WilensAndBaker.com; ZeroWater.com
A list of current and former sponsors can be found at: http://www.democrats.com/boycott-fox-news-advertisers
Meanwhile, Beck continues his daily campaign against progressives. He led the successful campaign to oust Van Jones as President Obama’s special adviser on green jobs and Yosi Sergant as communications director of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Beck dug up some old tapes of Jones using an expletive to describe Republicans and his espousing revolutionary views. Beck accused Sergant of using taxpayer money to fund the president’s art initiatives.
Organizers of the Fox boycott site argue, “Fox News has always been the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.” They urge all companies to quit advertising with Fox.
For a number of reasons, including the size of Fox’s audience, most major companies are unwilling to withdraw all advertising from the conservative network. However, as I argued in this space five weeks ago, companies that advertise on Fox and in right-wing publications but refuse to advertise with the Black Press must be held accountable.
A good place to start is with the list of former Beck sponsors.
For example, does State Farm advertise on the “Bev Smith Show”? Is Men’s Warehouse running spots on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show”? Does Applebees advertise in Black newspapers? Is Direct TV running ads on the Joe Madison Show? Does Travelocity advertise on TV One? Does Johnson & Johnson keep it real on The Al Sharpton Show? Does Vonage run commercials on Jesse Jackson’s radio show, “Keep Hope Alive?” Is Progressive Insurance progressive enough to advertise with the radio stations affliated with American Urban Radio Networks? Does PearleVision/Lenscrafters see the importance of advertising with Radio One?
You already know the answers to most of those questions, which means you should also know what we need to do next. If the companies that support right-ring zealots continue to boycott the Black media, African-Americans should boycott them.
I hereby propose that the NNPA, American Urban Radio Networks, Radio One and TV One examine the list of current and former Beck sponsors—along advertisers on shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh and CNN’s Lou Dobbs—and compile a list of companies that boycott Black media [links to the lists were provided above] while supporting these ultra-conservatives. I would rank the companies, based on annual revenues, and each month highlight a Corporate Offender of the Month. The Black Press should urge African-American consumers and their supporters to refrain from doing business with the serial offenders until they change their behavior.
We also should continue to monitor the firms that still run commercials on Glenn Beck’s program. One pro-Beck Website, supportglennbeck.com, reports that after initially pulling their spots, Bank of America and Roche have resumed advertising on Beck’s program. That should not happen without consequences.
If we are unwilling to fight back, then we deserve whatever treatment we get.
(George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached at www.georgecurry.com.)