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Advertisers Delete Tweets Around Calls to Boycott Sean Hannity

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“Some staff didn’t realize that we have a practice of not engaging in boycotts,” a spokeswoman said of the deleted tweet. “Senior management at Realtor.com became aware over the weekend of the error, and the tweets were taken down Sunday and the policy was posted on our corporate website.”

Volvo Car USA apparently responded to a tweet from a consumer on Monday to say, “We have spoken with our media agency and have advised them to cease advertising on the show.” But that message has disappeared. The company did not respond to requests for comment.

Photo

A video posted on social media showed a man kicking a Keurig coffee maker into a swimming pool after setting it on fire.

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@GMBSEEME, via Reuters

Some brands have been swept up in the boycott talk without having advertised on Mr. Hannity’s program in months. Nature’s Bounty, for example, has responded to consumers’ tweets in recent days to say it does not run ads on the program. Some connected that to Mr. Hannity’s comments last week, but a spokeswoman said in an email that the company had not advertised on the show since the summer.

Reddi Wip and Hebrew National, both owned by ConAgra Foods, have also been linked to the boycott after saying on Twitter that they had removed Mr. Hannity’s program from their advertising plans. But a spokeswoman said on Tuesday that the show had not been part of its media spending for “several months.”

“We should have replied with a more thorough tweet,” Lanie Friedman, the spokeswoman, said in an email, “so people realized this was not a recent decision.”

Some brands, including Eloquii and 23andMe, do appear to have pulled their ads from Mr. Hannity’s show based on Twitter statements. But they declined to elaborate on their reasoning.

This most recent issue started Thursday after Mr. Hannity discussed allegations against Mr. Moore, who has been accused of making sexual advances toward teenage girls when he was in his early 30s. Mr. Hannity, during his radio show, seemed to justify Mr. Moore’s reported conduct by calling one of the encounters “consensual.”

Later, on his TV program, Mr. Hannity said he “misspoke,” though he went on to discuss the possibility of Mr. Moore’s accusers lying for money or political purposes. Calls for a boycott followed.

Brands may be exercising caution based on the backlash that Keurig experienced. The brand waded into a maelstrom when it said it planned to halt ads on Mr. Hannity’s show, partly because it was responding to a tweet from Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters.

Keurig’s chief executive said in an email to employees on Monday that while it was appropriate for the brand to pause ads on the program, its decision to express that in a tweet was “highly unusual” and “done outside of company protocols.”’ He apologized to employees for any negativity they endured from the “appearance of ‘taking sides.’”

During his show on Monday, Mr. Hannity lauded the support from his fans but asked them to stop destroying the machines, calling Keurig a “victim” of Media Matters. He said on Tuesday that he planned to give away 500 Keurig machines and accepted the company’s “apology,” without noting it was directed to employees.

Through it all, Ms. Alaimo said, the messages from the brands have become muddled.

“What all of these companies need to do right now is publicly articulate what their policies are with respect to advertising, and under what circumstances they would pull their ads from broadcasters,” she said.

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