The fifty-two companies that have pulled their advertising from The O’Reilly Factor over host and mind-poisoner Bill O’Reilly’s serial sexual harassment settlements are only doing so to project a pro-woman image. And they should if they want to keep selling cars or pills or e-surance.
Women handle the bulk of consumer spending including big-ticket purchases—homes, autos, appliances, furniture, etc. A study by Fleishman-Hillard Inc., estimates that women will control two-thirds of the consumer wealth in the U.S. by 2023 and will be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history.
Even knowing this trend several companies pulling their ads quietly signaled their move was not permanent. The spokesman for drug maker GlaxoSmithKline told BuzzFeed it pulled its ads temporarily saying “We are continually reviewing our advertising to ensure it is conducted in a responsible manner aligned with our values.” The words “continually reviewing” mean there may be factors on The Factor that might change their minds. I wonder what that would be? Perhaps if O’Reilly goes to some sort of rehab...? Is there a PussyGrabber’s Anonymous?
On CNN Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland said of the situation “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.” Right now? Will it ever be if Bill O’Reilly maintains his position as the host?
We already know that corporations are beholden to their shareholders and their bottom line, decency be damned. And The O’Reilly Factor has been the highest rated program on cable news for 16 years running, and just came off its best quarter of ratings ever.
But let’s not forget one thing: we women don’t forget things. We remember the time, temperature, and tenor of your voice when you casually mentioned that one of our teeth is a tiny bit crooked is 1998. We remember GlaxoSmithKline faced over 400 lawsuits for causing severe birth defects by pushing off label use of an unapproved anti-nausea chemotherapy drug (Zofran) to expecting mothers with morning sickness. And we will remember which companies go back to support a man who, along with his employer, paid almost $13 million to settle five different sexual harassment, and/or verbal abuse suits against our sisters.