Fox News — Love it or hate it, the network’s programming has a tendency to draw some strong opinions. And lately, those opinions have expanded beyond the bounds of living rooms and Sunday dinners, and straight into corporate board rooms.
Thanks to controversial comments made by one of the network’s leading personalities, Glenn Beck, Apple has decided to boycott advertisements — not just for Beck’s show, but across the whole network.
A couple of weeks ago, The Washington Post published an article featuring Beck, the controversial right-wing figure some call a mouthpiece of conservative populist ideas. What’s at the heart of this issue are statements Beck made about President Obama, in which he called the commander-in-chief a racist, and his labeling of progressivism as a “cancer.”
Whatever your opinion on the (in)famous “friend of Bill” (O’Reilly), the man has a huge fanbase and regularly sells out at speaking engagements across the country. But although Beck’s show is one of the most-watched on the network, companies are hesitant to sanction the program or its host with advertising.
According to the Washington Post, "More than 200 companies have joined a boycott of Beck's program, making it difficult for Fox to sell ads. The time has instead been sold to smaller firms offering such products as Kaopectate, Carbonite, 1-800-PetMeds and Goldline International. A handful of advertisers, such as Apple, have abandoned Fox altogether."
The experts have long held that Apple needs to do something big this year, if it wants to maintain dominance in the mobile tech sphere. With the iPad’s April 3rd launch and the much-hyped “iPhone 4G” announcement presumably coming this summer, ads would be a key factor. This all makes Cupertino’s total repudiation of Fox News — which is America’s leading cable news channel — nothing to sneeze at.
I don’t know if this was the best business decision to make, but I’m glad Apple made it. I’m not one for extremists in any direction, and I have a problem when someone uses a news channel to push an agenda or preach radical conservatism (or liberalism, for that matter). Yes, Fox News has a rep for right-wing fare, but even so, Beck’s comments went too far. So for me, it’s heartening to see a CEO not give in to “business is business” for once.
What do you think? Was this the right move on Apple’s part, or a dumb business decision? And do you think other companies will follow suit? Weigh in below.
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