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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Progressive Approach - ad revenue and Glenn Beck

The word “progressive” apparently doesn’t just describe certain politics, it’s the name of an insurance company.

More specifically, it is the name of an insurance company which pulled advertising from Fox Cable Network – advertising which was apparently running during the show hosted by popular radio and television personality, Glenn Beck.

Recently, the Jolly Rogers received a letter from someone who had sent an e-mail out to Progressive. In this article is the response from the company’s internet representative. Of particular interest is the insurance company’s claim that the whole thing is the fault of the media. According to the Progressive representative, incorrect reporting has produced the artificial impression that they pulled their advertising in response to a comment by Beck that he thought President Obama didn’t like white people.

The note to Progressive called the company cowardly and accused them of caving to race baiting. The note describes the lack of any kind of response to sexist political remarks, yet immediate action for a commentator’s stated opinion on the president’s views.

“We are not racists,” reads the note. “I don't hate president Obama. I hate no-one, yet because I listen to Glenn Beck or Hannity, I am (labeled) a racist.”

But the final point in the note is the most salient.

“Maybe you should go farther and ask us all for our voter registration
cards before we buy your insurance” reads the note, “then you can be assured that your company is pure, without any crazy Republican's or un-educated

Progressive’s response to this particular note is as follows:

Thank you for reaching out to us.

Some media reports have created the incorrect impression that Progressive pulled advertising in response to specific comments made on a show, but that is not the case. We did not buy advertising time on the The Glenn Beck Program, so when we learned that our ad had aired during the show, we corrected the error.

I hope this clarifies the situation. We appreciate your business and we sincerely hope that you will consider remaining a Progressive customer, but if not, we will respect your decision. Thank you again for taking the time to share your views.


Mary O.
Progressive Internet Representative

In response to the alleged racial comment by Beck on the July 28 episode of Fox and Friends, many members of the media have explored the situation and websites have sprung up to specifically rally against Beck.

According to the front page on, “Beck is on a campaign to convince the American public that President Obama's agenda is about serving the needs of Black communities at White people's expense. It's repulsive, divisive and shouldn't be on the air.”

The website seems to be the polar opposite, listing a number of businesses which have pulled advertising from commentary broadcasts to “avoid polarizing their customers.”

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