Gilead, Astellas also suspend ads on 'The O'Reilly Factor'

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Photo courtesty of billoreilly.com

Gilead Sciences and Astellas Pharma have joined a number of other drugmakers that have suspended advertising on “The O'Reilly Factor,” following news reports of sexual-harassment allegations against Bill O'Reilly, the host of the Fox News show.

A spokesperson for Astellas told MM&M that it had no future plans to advertise on the "The O'Reilly Factor" and a spokesperson for Gilead said they are officially suspending ads on the show. Bayer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi have also pulled ads from the show, according to media reports.

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iSpot.tv data show that Astellas and Gilead had been advertising their brands, overactive bladder drug Myrbetriq and hepatitis-C treatment Harvoni, respectively, on the network in the last two weeks.

O'Reilly, and the network, allegedly made more than $13 million in payouts to five women — who worked for him or appeared on his show — to prevent them from pursuing lawsuits related to allegations made against O'Reilly that include sexual harassment and verbal abuse, according to The New York Times. In a statement posted on his website, O'Reilly said that he has been unfairly targeted “by individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.”

“The O'Reilly Factor” brought in more than $446 million in advertising revenue between 2014 and 2016, according to Kantar Media data, cited by The New York Times.

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Pharma companies, hospital systems, and medical services companies have spent roughly $1.4 million on advertising for “The O'Reilly Factor” in the last 14 days, according to estimates from iSpot.tv.

More broadly, advertisers have recently faced criticism over how and where they place their ads online. More than 1,250 companies, including Novo Nordisk, in late 2016 pulled advertising on the alt-right website Breitbart News over concerns that ads were placed next to stories supporting misogyny or homophobia, according to The Washington Post.

Johnson & Johnson, among other U.S. advertisers, have also recently suspended advertising on YouTube due to their ads potentially being placed next to offensive or extremist content, according to multiple news reports. 

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