April 11, 2007
GlaxoSmithKline pulls Imus advertising
GlaxoSmithKline has yanked its advertising from Don Imus’ talk show amid the controversy caused by remarks he made about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. Imus’ show, a nationally syndicated radio program, is also simulcast on cable network MSNBC. According to TNS Media Intelligence, GlaxoSmithKline was the No. 5 advertiser on the MSNBC telecast of Imus’ show during 2006, spending $277,900. “The bottom line is that we have suspended our advertising with MSNBC until we can determine that we can have a level of confidence that our media standards are being adhered to,” GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Nancy Pekarek told MM&M. Pekarek said Glaxo did not buy any advertising space on Imus’ radio program. “What we did do was buy advertising on MSNBC. That put us on a rotation and that’s how the ads appeared on MSNBC in that time slot,” she said. Glaxo was among a number of companies that by Tuesday that had pulled their advertising from Imus’ show. Office supply chain Staples and consumer products manufacturer Procter & Gamble announced their intentions to pull their advertising from MSNBC in published reports. Another sponsor, Bigelow Tea, said in a posting on its Web site that Imus’ remarks have “put our future sponsorship in jeopardy.” Imus made his controversial comments during his show last week. He has been suspended for two weeks by MSNBC and CBS, which manages his radio broadcast. His suspension begins Monday. Reacting to mounting public pressure and the flood and cancelled sponsorships, MSNBC announced late Tuesday it has cancelled its simulcast of Imus' show.