Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who Is Controlling the Ads

As the number of corporations who are pulling their ads from the Rush Limbaugh show continues to increase, at least for the moment, what has been eye-opening is the number who are saying that they had no idea that they in fact were running ads for his program.

The first one to sort of admit this was Allstate who said they were not even aware their ads were on his program, and then found out that their ad buying company had bought them without their permission. Now that number has increased. Others are claiming that they did indeed buy airtime on the radio channel, but that their ads were run at the wrong time.

The listeners of Rush certainly do not match the demographics that most advertisers are seeking. There are clearly companies that want to target 65-year-old, conservative, white men, but that number you would think would be small. This leads me to ask the simple question, who is controlling their ads?

I understand that they are using ad buyers, but do they then relinquish all control? What are their advertising departments doing with their time? Most corporations want to tightly control their message and their image, but it turns out they are letting others do anything they want. Plus, how are they tracking the effectiveness of their ads, or have they given up entirely?

I used to be in public relations and so have experience with advertising and this is sort of shocking to me. We were very intentional about where and when we advertised, although I was working with much smaller budgets, but I would be under the impression that large corporations want to control budgets as much as small businesses do.

You would think, or at least I would think, that these companies would have a much greater control over where and when they are advertising, rather than just throwing their money out there, but apparently not. Here is a list of those who have pulled their ads and their statements.

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