The Re-Branding of America: What Happens When You’ve Got None

Politics, Pop Culture, re:brand

Glenn Beck. Oh Glenn. This edition of Ad a Day focuses on the lack thereof — and Glenn makes it so easy to teach this lesson. Talking heads get paid for talking; they can say just about anything they want because people tune in to see them, well, say whatever it is they say in that special way. In Glenn Beck’s case, “that special way,” is crazy. He spoke crazy so well, even the New York Times had to take notice. The more people watch a show, the more companies will pay to sponsor said show. In Glenn Beck’s case, companies were shelling out money hand over fist to sponsor crazy — and to think, when you went to AA you couldn’t pay anyone to sponsor your crazy — but he broke the one cardinal rule of craze-tainment: never take your crazy seriously — then people will know you’re seriously crazy. Namely …

Yeah, no. Glenn Beck has said a lot of things — after all: it’s Glenn Beck, yes, that Glenn Beck. Calling Obama a racist — even on Fox News — well, that’s just plain lunacy. Regardless of opinion, it’s literally insane for anyone in Beck’s shoes to do so on a public forum. Every right-wing free marketeer knows to put profit above all else, especially morals, so there’s the second cardinal rule gone to pieces: never publicize any opinion that will jeopardize your profits. Needless to say this once plentiful, yet crazy, cash cow has gone mad. When your cash cow’s milk gets tainted, it’s time to look elsewhere — which is exactly what only-God-and-my-TI83-calculator-knows-how-many of Beck’s sponsors did …

Conservatives’ faith in the free market must be dropping substantially today, as right-wing Fox News host Glenn Beck’s TV show has lost too many sponsors to count, including eight today. Some of the sponsors opting not to support Beck’s wingnuttery include Geico, CVS, Best Buy, Progressive, ConAgra, Wal-Mart, RadioShack, Procter and Gamble, SC Johnson and Sargento.

Yeah when you’re Glenn Beck and you’ve lost Wal-Mart … it’s about time to head to Costco for a job application. If they don’t pick you up: don’t be mad, I heard UPS is hiring. Quite a shame to look at the list of lost sponsors — where is Glenn going to turn for help? There’s always the warm glow of an HDTV, maybe a little Wii, PS3, or Xbox 360 — wait, nope, BestBuy and RadioShack nixed that. A nice roadtrip might do him some good, little time to clear his head — wait, nope, Geico and Progressive nixed that. How about some nice comfort food, some hearty Mac and Cheese — nope Sargento nixed that. Maybe some arts and crafts with a Macaroni necklace — right, nope, ConAgra nixed that. I doubt Glenn is a fan of the arts anyway — not in the schools at least. Slim pickins … well, when all else fails there’s always a nice warm bath and massage — riiiight Procter and Gamble, and SC Johnson for the nish nish. Rock bottom calls for one thing: Limbaugh it out and pill pop those cares away — just … not through CVS.

Watch this space: Advertisers are not known for their morals or ethics — until today I wasn’t sure they knew how to spell either — but situations like this are a clear view into a country’s conscience. In a world run by adverts and their revenue we often think with our wallets, but it’s slightly reassuring to see that at the core of it all at least we are thinking.

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