Statement on Quicken Loans’ Advertising with Premiere Networks
Nearly two years ago, Quicken Loans reached out to Premiere Networks and directed us to remove all advertisements appearing within Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. We immediately honored this request and pulled their advertisements.
We have since found that in a few cases local radio stations across the country have aired Quicken Loans’ ads during The Rush Limbaugh Show. This was done in error and at no fault of Quicken Loans. We are actively working with the local stations to ensure that these mistakes are not repeated.
In addition, we have investigated online reports that Quicken Loans ads have run during Limbaugh’s program, and it is clear that not every report is accurate. One such audio recording, claiming to have originated from WHCU-AM in Ithaca, New York, is clearly manipulated. We have confirmed with the station manager that an ad for Quicken Loans did not air on the station, despite the claims of the doctored audio file.
We highly value our partners and work diligently to honor their requests. In the case of Quicken Loans, we fell short, take complete responsibility for this error, and are taking measures to ensure these mistakes do not happen again.
It was a move that, for the most part, validated StopRush efforts--Limbaugh's parent company forced to issue what amounted to a public apology for its advertising SNAFU. And it was a move that was likely precipitated by a massive Twitter event during the Super Bowl which called attention to Quicken Loans continuing to air ads on the controversial right wing talk show after publicly pledging to remove them.
There's just one problem. Premiere didn't in fact "take complete responsibility."
Premiere Radio's reference to "manipulated" audio echoed allegations made by Quicken Loans president Jay Farner late last week that StopRush activists edited recordings to make it appear as though an ad played on the Rush Limbaugh Show in Ithaca, NY when in fact it did not.
So let's get this straight. The majority of the Quicken Loans ads playing during the Rush Limbaugh Show are the result of errors at the station level, but there was that one time when those activists made a fake ad too.
Here's audio of the ad in question. It aired at 1:03 Eastern Standard Time January 21 on WHCU's streaming broadcast. That's three minutes into the second hour of Limbaugh's three hour program:
The accusation that this ad has somehow been faked appears to have originated with the station manager at WHCU. Though it's impossible to pinpoint the reason behind the absurd accusation, this could be a clumsy attempt at CYA.
Consider the following statements StopRush received from WHCU advertisers after just one week monitoring the Rush Limbaugh Show in January:
Independent auto dealer in Ithaca:
I feel exactly the same way about him, and we had already asked to be on the "NO RUSH" list, so I'll be calling our rep at the radio station to see why we are associated with his show. I had previously pulled our ads, and may do so again, if they can not promise we won't be running during his show. He is a disgrace of a human being.
New York vineyard:
Just so you understand, when we buy radio time, we buy it in day-parts, not programming, meaning our ad goes into a rotation during the hours we've bought. We do not know what show(s) our spots will be on. That being said, we have contacted our rep and asked to not be on Rush Limbaugh's show specifically. We appreciate your concern and thank you for taking the time to give us the heads up.Cornell University:
David Skorton shared your email with me and I will be following up with the station manager about public service announcements and ads that run on their station. I had not heard about the "NO RUSH" list and I will ask about that as well. It was not our intention to support his program. Thank you for taking the time to write to us.Ithaca Honda dealer:
Thank you for your message. We did not intentionally advertise on the Rush Limbaugh Show and have made it clear to the radio station that we do not want our ads to run during his show. Please advise the other members of your group.New York State ski tourism campaign:
Ithaca construction company:
What radio station and what market please? We will pull the ad if I can get this info.
Ithaca theater advertising Ladysmith Black Mambazo concert:
We didn't realize, I am changing it this morning. Thanks.
We pulled all of our ads from The Rush Limbaugh show. There, you won. Congratulations.
Can you please leave us and our sponsors alone now?
Maybe it was just easier for Mr. Pickles to engage in a little blame shifting.
The fact is the StopRush movement prides itself on data integrity.
The Rush Limbaugh Show runs from 12 PM to 3 PM EST. Yesterday a Quicken Loans ad aired in Vero Beach, Florida exactly one and a half minutes after the end of the program. It was not entered in the StopRush database.
On the rare occasions that activists make errors (ie. mixing up companies with similar names) those errors are corrected as soon as they are discovered.
The aim of StopRush is reducing the number of advertisers supporting Rush Limbaugh's bigoted views. To invent new advertisers on the show would violate both StopRush's commitment to accuracy and the whole goal of less advertisers.
Decent folks who believe in tolerance and equality are no longer powerless against Rush Limbaugh's efforts to spread intolerance on the radio. StopRush is making a major impact by convincing advertisers on this show to withdraw their ads--and with your help we can do even more. Just a few emails, tweets, or Facebook messages a week to Limbaugh's advertisers can go a long way toward making hatred less profitable. It is our collective voice that makes us strong.
Want to do something hold Limbaugh accountable?
Join StopRush! We can use your help in the following ways:
Join: The Flush Rush Facebook community
Visit: The StopRush sponsor database
Tweet: #stoprush Twitter campaign
Fact Check: Limbaugh Lie Debunking Site
Install: ThinkContext StopRush browser extension--notifies you as you browse which companies advertise on Rush