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For Rush Limbaugh advertisers, backlash could hit hard in social media age

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So, for example, if you are the online data backup provider Carbonite, and you also invest heavily in online media, the Limbaugh controversy increases the risk that you will get pulled in, says Olivier Rubel, a professor of marketing at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Davis.

“Customers will hear or read 'Limbaugh' when the brand of the company is mentioned,” he says.

Some firms have gone out of their way to distance themselves from Limbaugh, explaining their ads aired on Limbaugh’s show without their knowledge. A spokesperson for Goodwill Industries said in an e-mail to Politico: “A PSA about Goodwill was aired on a D.C.-area station that airs the 'Rush Limbaugh Show' and was done without our permission, knowledge, or consent. We asked them to remove it because this was done without our prior approval.”

The communications director for the Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington also said in an e-mail to Politico: “Our decision to pull our advertising is due to the fact that current programming does not align with the Girl Scout mission. We were unaware at the time of purchase that our commercials would air during the program.”  

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