After a firestorm of calls, posts and Tweets from angry consumers, two companies pulled their advertisements with Rush Limbaugh after the conservative radio talk show host called a Georgetown University law student a "slut" for speaking out about the current debate over birth control.
“Due to recent commentary by Rush Limbaugh that does not align with our values, we’ve made the decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program," Gabby Nelson, company spokeswoman at mattress manufacturer Select Comfort, said in an emailed statement.
Select Comfort, which advertises its Sleep Number brand bed, was the second company to sever ties with Limbaugh over the growing controversy. Sleep Train was the first to sever ties. It sent a message out on Twitter earlier today, telling consumers, "We are pulling our ads with Rush Limbaugh and appreciate the community's feedback."
The law student, Sandra Fluke, testified before a House committee this week about the high cost of hormonal contraception and the burden this places on women who need it for medical reasons last week after being barred from an earlier Congressional committee hearing on the topic.
Other companies are distancing themselves from the talk-show host, including some who say they don't advertise with Limbaugh, but have been overwhelmed with phone calls and online messages.
The Twitter feed of online dating site eHarmony read, "We’ve never paid for ads on Limbaugh show. We’re looking into the matter of 'network buys' and will let you know what we discover." (Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET.: Spokeswoman Becky Teraoka said via e-mail, "We do have that confirmation" that a network buy did not land eHarmony advertising on Limbaugh's show.)
Ray Pohlman, spokesman for AutoZone, said the company had never advertised with Limbaugh and was working with its media buyers to find out if any ads did air. "If a commercial ran, it was in error," he said. "We're running it down."
"We have not advertised on Rush Limbaugh's radio program in over five years," Life Quotes spokeswoman Michelle Matlock said via email.
"We are actually not an active advertiser on the program and currently have no plans to sponsor it in the future," Megan Greuling, spokeswoman for Lending Tree, said via email.
Some companies indicate they'll be sticking with Rush, though. "While we do not condone or agree with Limbaugh’s statements regarding Sandra Fluke, we respect his right to express his views, as well as those who disagree with him," Quicken Loans spokeswoman Paula Silver said in an emailed statement. "As an advertiser, our goal is to reach a broad audience, which we accomplish by placing ads on a number of programs across the country representing diverse views."
A statement posted on ProFlowers' Facebook page late Thursday night was more circumspect. It read, "We would like to assure you that we do not endorse the views expressed by Rush Limbaugh. We understand your concerns and value your feedback." The post was inundated with hundreds of comments from Facebook users urging the company to drop its advertising.
Limbaugh did not reply to msnbc.com's request for a comment.
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