Polycom, Citrix Ad Decisions On Limbaugh Prompt Praise, Scorn


The controversy over radio host Rush Limbaugh's February 29 comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke may be nearly two weeks old, but the debate over companies pulling ads from The Rush Limbaugh Show continues to rage, including the many technology-related companies involved in the advertising exodus.

Both Polycom and Citrix, for example, posted about their decisions to pull advertising from Limbaugh's program on their respective Facebook pages this month. Both posts prompted hundreds of responses that illustrate how polarizing an issue the Limbaugh fiasco has become.

"Polycom does some syndicated radio advertising, including spots on WMAL, however we had no intention to run adds on the Rush Limbaugh show," read an unattributed post on the Polycom Facebook page. "The recent comments by Mr. Limbaugh go against our core values and we have taken action to discontinue advertising on this program."

At press time, the Polycom statement had generated 169 "likes" and nearly as many comments, which ran the gamut from praise to disgust.

"Very poor decision," one poster wrote. "Neither my company nor I will ever be a customer for your communications device."

"Thank you for taking stand for civil discourse and good taste," another poster wrote. "I encourage you to make permanent your withdrawal of advertising from the Rush Limbaugh show."

"This is selective outrage," a third poster wrote. "If your company would have taken the time to listen to the three days of Rush's program, you would have known it was all satire to demonstrate the absurdity of the fake hearing."

Citrix's statement prompted a similar range of comments, with 435 likes and nearly 280 comments at press time.

"While Citrix does not control any show's content or endorse opinions of their hosts, we do take the concerns of our customers seriously," wrote Brett Caine, senior vice president and general manager, Online Services Division, at Citrix. "When they are upset about something, we listen. After careful consideration, we have decided to discontinue our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show."

"Thank you for doing the right thing. The attack on this woman was disgraceful," said one Citrix page poster.

"So apologies are no longer accepted huh? What a crock," wrote another Citrix poster. "Caving to the Leftists' faux outrage. You will NEVER see another dime of my money…and I will make sure my friends and family are aware of your decision to cave."

Carbonite, AOL and Netflix were also among tech companies pulling ads this month. David Friend, CEO of Carbonite, said Limbaugh "overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency."

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady," Friend wrote in a Carbonite company blog post. "Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”