Bowing to customer pressure, insurer renews ads on ‘Hannity’

An insurer catering to the military community had pledged to pull its advertising from a Fox News show, but a storm of protests from customers changed its tune

Bowing to customer pressure, insurer renews ads on ‘Hannity’

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Image by Gage Skidmore

USAA is reinstating its advertising on Hannity, a Fox News program that had come under fire for its coverage of the death of a Democratic National Committee staff member.

USAA was one of 10 advertisers that said last week it would be pulling its commercials from the show following host Sean Hannity’s reporting on a theory about the shooting death of Seth Rich. However, the insurer, which caters to military families, faced an avalanche of criticism for pulling its ads, according to a report by The Guardian.

USAA initially said it was pulling its advertising from Hannity because it wanted to avoid politically charged opinion shows. However, angry customers pointed out that the company continued to advertise on other opinion shows, according to The Guardian.

“We heard concerns from many members who watch and listen to these programs,” USAA said in a statement. “Our goal in advertising has always been to reach members of the military community who would benefit from USAA’s well-known commitment to service. Today, the lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred.”

Hannity, meanwhile, has said he will no longer talk about Rich’s death – which he attempted to connect to the WikiLeaks scandal – following repeated pleas from the murder victim’s family.

The conservative Media Research Center helped mobilize the backlash against USAA, according to The Guardian. The Media Research Center said its members generated more than 1,600 phone calls to the insurer within 48 hours.

“They did the right thing going back on that show,” Media Research Center President Brent Bozell told The Guardian. “And so long as the other side isn’t participating in personal smears, they should participate on those shows too.”

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