Advertisers Turn on O'Reilly as New Sexual Harassment Allegations Surface

According to the Saturday report, O'Reilly and the Fox News paid $13 million dollars (12.2 million euro) to five different women, settling harassment suits and allegations of inappropriate conduct against the TV personality.

A Mercedes-Benz spokesman said Monday night that the company had pulled ads from O'Reilly's show and reassigned them to other Fox News shows. Explaining their thought process, the insurance giant declared that "inclusivity and support for women are important Allstate values" and they are "concerned about the issues surrounding the program and we have suspended our advertising".

Hyundai said early Tuesday that it is not now advertising on "The O'Reilly Factor" but will remove upcoming ads because of the "recent and disturbing allegations".

The number of companies pulling their advertising from Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor", hosted by Bill O'Reilly, continues to increase - the current tally now stands at 22, with Coldwell Banker being the latest. The companies included Allstate Corp., Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, BMW of North America, Constant Contact, GlaxoSmithKline, Mercedez-Benz, Sanofi SA, Untuckit, and T.Rowe Price. "Women have the right to go to work without facing harassment".

O'Reilly hasn't admitted any wrongdoing and said he settled for the sake of his family.

His long-running show remains the most watched cable news program in the U.S., averaging around four million viewers.

But last summer's forced departure of Ailes, who has vigorously denied the charges against him, was a step into the unknown for Fox.

However, the allegations and defection hit hard on the shares of the 21st Century Fox because they fell 1.2% to $31.75 at the close in NY. Untuckit is one of the biggest advertisers of The O'Reilly Factor.

Fox News is ultimately a business and it makes money primarily from selling advertising spots during its programming.

At a Los Angeles news conference Monday, lawyer Lisa Bloom detailed allegations against O'Reilly by Wendy Walsh, a regular guest on The O'Reilly Factor.

Fox News' manager for credit collectors, Monica Douglas, claims that she was subjected to racist comments for years, and that network executives knew, but ignored it.

That represents O'Reilly's greatest vulnerability, Klein said. He emphasized that no one file a complaint about him with Human Resources Department even on the anonymous hotline in more than 20 years of his career at Fox News.

NOW President Terry O'Neill said in a statement that O'Reilly's alleged actions were a misogynistic abuse of power that warrants termination. At least five advertisers, skittish about the harassment reports, have said they don't want their products sold on his show, at least for the time being.

Fox News may be attempting to weather the storm with O'Reilly, who continually tops cable news ratings.

  • Salvatore Jensen