Ten companies pull ads from O'Reilly show

CNN has worked to put pressure on the advertisers of Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor" while host Bill O'Reilly faces allegations of sexual harassment, but claims the ads are being pulled "organically".

In a statement on the O'Reilly controversy on Tuesday, Fox said it was working to address the concerns of advertisers, noting that the companies in question had diverted their funds into other Fox News content.

According to a Reuters report, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi SA, direct marketer Constant Contact, men's clothing company Untuckit, as well as T. Rowe Price are also no longer advertising on the show. Fox News itself makes up one-fifth of parent company 21st Century Fox's profit, according to estimates from Anthony DiClemete, a media analyst with the Nomura investment bank. "What's going on at Fox News is the worst of any company that I've ever been made aware of". CNNMoney has reached out to more than 20 companies and brands that have advertised on "The O'Reilly Factor", which is coming off its highest-rated quarter in history - about 4 million viewers a night.

Hyundai, meanwhile, said that as a company it sought to partner with companies and programming that shared its values of inclusion and diversity: "We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions", it added in a statement.

The network and O'Reilly have paid over $13 million dollars in settlements with those that have accused him of sexual harassment and other types of verbal abuse.

Former contributor Wendy Walsh is among O'Reilly's accusers, claiming a job offer was withdrawn after she declined his invitation to go with him to his hotel suite after a dinner in 2013, the BBC reported.

In a statement, NOW said O'Reilly should be fired and there should be "an immediate independent investigation into the culture of sexual harassment at Fox News".

The financial fallout is growing as the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News spreads. BMW said it was not sure where it would place its ads instead.

A BMW spokesman said the German auto giant was suspending ads for the program "in light of the recent New York Times investigation".

"We are continually reviewing our advertising to ensure it is conducted in a responsible manner aligned with our values", a GSK spokesperson said.

Fox News Channel has been seeing strong ratings in the aftermath of Donald Trump's election as president.

Fox News did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday, but 21st Century Fox told The Times that O'Reilly "denies the merits of these claims".

The wave of advertisers that began to abandon the program Tuesday suggests that even more could follow suit.

"The O'Reilly Factor" is now the highest-rated show on cable news, averaging around 4 million viewers per night.

  • Salvatore Jensen