Mattress startup Casper is the latest advertiser to join the mounting boycott over Sean Hannity’s conspiracy-mongering.
The company said in an emailed statement that it had reviewed its ad strategy and taken steps to block its commercials from appearing on the Fox News host’s eponymous primetime show.
Casper’s TV ads are placed programmatically, meaning a piece of software decides on which shows and networks they will appear rather than a human. But the company said it worked with its ad agencies to adjust the automated process so that the particular program was off-limits.
We have reviewed our programmatic television media strategy with our agency partners and reassigned this allocation, a spokesperson said.
Hannity’s advertisers faced an onslaught of public backlash this week after the host repeatedly amplified a baseless theory involving murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.
Hannity and an assortment of right-wing media have claimed that Rich was leaking information from within the party to WikiLeaks, despite a lack of evidence and emotional appeals from the victim’s family to stop.
Fox retracted the story on Tuesday, but Hannity didn’t let up.
“I did it out of my own heart, he told HuffPost late on Wednesday. “It does not justify an attempt to get me fired. And thats what this is. This is an attempt to take me out. This is a kill shot.”
Angry customers, would-be customers, and concerned citizens pressured Casper to drop Hannity in the day before the statement. The company’s placements on the show were made public in a list published by progressive activist group Media Matters For America, and it was hit by a flurry of tweets.
Consumer activism efforts like these have gained newfound traction in the Trump era. A similar advertiser pressure campaign helped to topple former Fox host Bill O’Reilly last month in the wake of a slew of sexual assault revelations.