Car companies are mighty careful how and where their brands are seen, especially on TV, so when reports that surfaced this weekend about sexual harassment claims against Bill O’Reilly became public, five automakers quickly pulled ads from the O’Reilly Factor.
So far, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and BMW have pulled ads from the show, which has been the #1 rated show on the Fox Network. Five women have come forward to say that Fox or O’Reilly himself had paid out approximately 13 million dollars in settlements in exchange for dropping any further legal action.
A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz released a statement that said “the allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
Hyundai released a statement on the subject too, saying “Hyundai currently has no advertising running on ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ We had upcoming advertising spots on the show but are reallocating them due to the recent and disturbing allegations. As a company, we seek to partner with companies and programming that share our values of inclusion and diversity. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions.”
O’Reilly has said the allegations against him are without merit, and that his fame and success have made him a target. As of the time if this writing on Wednesday, O’Reilly has not said anything on this subject while on the air during his show.
Fox Network founding Chairman Roger Ailes was fired last summer amid allegations of sexual harassment.