Fox News Advertiser Considers Tides Foundation Ad Boycott

››› ››› JOE STRUPP

Zurich Financial Services Group, which dropped its advertising from Glenn Beck's Fox News program last year, is considering removing all ads from Fox News in response to a request by the Tides Foundation, according to a company spokesman.

Asked if Zurich would pull its Fox News ads in response to the Tides boycott, Sean Kevelighan, vice president and head of group media relations for Zurich's North America group, said: "at this time, no decision has been made. They are looking into it."

Other advertisers targeted in the boycott have yet to respond to Media Matters since Monday. Media Matters is also supporting the boycott.

Tides, which has been the subject of dozens of Beck criticisms in recent years, launched the boycott request following an incident this summer in which, according to police, gunman Byron Williams admitted he had been on his way to kill members of Tides and the ACLU in San Francisco on July 18.

Oakland, Ca., police stopped Williams as he traveled to San Francisco, an incident that ended in a shootout in which several highway patrolmen were injured. Williams has since told Media Matters that he was a regular viewer of Beck and that the conspiracy theories aired on Beck's show had helped inform his alleged assassination plot. Beck's show had helped inform his views on Tides.

Zurich last year dropped its advertising from Beck's show, but not Fox News entirely.

"It was a decision made by the company that certain elements of the show did not align with the company's values," Kevelighan said about the 2009 ad removal, declining to offer more specifics. "It was just a conscious decision made in '09."

Zurich recently complained to Fox News after its ads were again shown on Beck's program during repeat telecasts of the show that aired in March and April.

Kevelighan said in an e-mail to Media Matters:

We have been informed that FOX erroneously ran Zurich ads twice during repeat airings of the Glenn Beck program. As such, FOX is working with Zurich's media purchasing firm Mindshare to ensure our directive to not advertise during any airing of the Glenn Beck show is upheld without any future errors.

Kevelighan declined to comment further on Beck or the Tides Foundation boycott request.

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