As the controversy grew over Rush Limbaugh's latest incendiary comments -- he called law student and birth control advocate Sandra Fluke a "slut" on Wednesday -- his show's advertisers began to flee in droves. The Associated Press reported on Sunday that seven companies have backed away from the show.
Mortgage lender Quicken Loans, mattress retailers Sleep Train and Sleep Number, online data backup service provider Carbonite, software maker Citrix Systems Inc., online legal document services company LegalZoom and flower company ProFlowers all pulled ads in reaction to Limbaugh's comments.
On Saturday, Limbaugh apologized for his words directed toward Fluke. But for at least one CEO, that wasn't good enough.
David Friend, who runs Carbonite, issued a statement on his company's website that evening, saying that Carbonite would no longer advertise with Limbaugh despite the host's rare admission of regret. From the website:
“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
ProFlowers also explained why it was pulling ads. Via its Facebook page on Sunday, the company criticized Limbaugh's comments as "beyond political discourse to a personal attack" and stressed that they "do not reflect our values as a company."
Disclaimer: AOL, the parent company of The Huffington Post, has an advertising deal with Rush Limbaugh.
AOL announced on Monday that it is pulling its money from Limbaugh's radio program. "At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," said Maureen Sullivan, an AOL spokeswoman. "We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."
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