This comment by Jeff Hess over at Tim’s place made me finally comment on this Glenn Beck advertiser boycott thing:

Here?s the piece of data missing from all of this:

Are these 57 companies pulling their advertising from Beck?s show but not from Faux?

In other words, is Faux collecting the same amount of money from these same companies and simply shifting advertisers around?

I don?t watch TV, but it would be interesting to know if the number of minutes on Beck?s show has remained the same or is he actually running more editorial and less advertising.

If the former is true then Faux and the 57 companies are simply running a scam. The companies are writing the same sized checks to Faux and Faux is shifting the dollars and allowing the 57 companies to throw up a smoke screen of responsibility.

Jeff is spot on. This campaign is meaningless and above all ineffective. Unless and until someone can demonstrate to me that they are having an affect on the show I’m unconvinced. Hell, this thing has been a boon to the show in terms of overall viewership.

Newsflash. Advertisers don’t really care about politics. They don’t care about boycotts. They care about eyeballs. Companies need to get their message out to the largest possible audience for the least possible cost. In my mind, this boycott has done nothing other than give the network more viewers which will ultimately give advertisers more incentive, not less, to put ads there.

Sure, they have to play the little smoke and mirrors game Jeff talks about. But you know what? They’ll play it. Because in the end companies don’t care a great deal about politics. Marketers don’t either. They care about reaching lots of people. I highly doubt any advertisers have canceled any deals with Fox over this. They just moved ads off of a show getting too much heat in order to avoid getting burned in the short term.

I’m all for making personal choices about what you watch, what you buy, where you shop, and making sure your money goes to support your view and values. Getting all worked up over advertisers “pulling” ads from a show is another thing entirely. You certainly cannot with any certainly claim anything like what Tim is claiming:

This is one of the most effective boycotts I?ve ever seen

I’m not saying don’t do it. There is something to be said for motivating your side and adding energy to a political fight (while risking a commensurate motivation with the opposition). But don’t get caught up and let the energy convince you the results are something they are not. Effective is getting Beck off the air. Effective is not having PR departments and marketing professionals play a shell game with ads. It’s a sugar victory. Might taste sweet for a moment, but the quick burn rate leaves you right back where you were.

Call me when the show is canceled.

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