Wednesday, November 01, 2006

ABC, REI respond to Air America blacklist memo

Responding to Media Matters for America's October 31 posting of an ABC Radio Networks memo indicating that nearly 100 ABC advertisers insist that their commercials be blacked out on Air America Radio affiliates, ABC provided Media Matters with a statement in which the company did not challenge the memo's authenticity but instead noted: "It is not uncommon for advertisers and/or agencies to request that their ads run or not run in specific programming environments or dayparts. ABC Radio Networks does not solicit nor encourage these requests from advertisers. If a request is made by an advertiser/and [sic] or agency we make our best effort to comply."

However, one of the advertisers included in ABC's list, REI, apparently claims it did not request that its ads not be aired during Air America programming. Several Media Matters readers have sent this response from REI, which reads, in part:

Today, an internal memo on ABC Network letterhead was posted on the Air
America website and picked up by various blog sites. The memo lists companies
that refused to have their radio advertising supporting Air America and Al
Franken's programming. REI was listed as one of the companies declining to
advertise; however this information is incorrect.

The memo posted on the internet is not correct. REI has not refused to
advertise during Air America's programming. In fact, REI has placed radio ads on
stations carrying Air America programming.

It is unfortunate that this misinformation has been widely distributed. We
are currently working with our advertising agency and the ABC radio network to
track down how this happened.

This story is spreading rapidly through the media, starting with the liberal blogosphere. Mainstream sources are starting to report on it, including American Public Media, the national arm of Minnesota Public Radio.

See also:

Internal document reveals Air America advertiser blacklist

UPDATE: More advertisers respond to AAR blacklist accusations

This article and the other two on this topic are linked at


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