With talk of the Pennsylvania State University Football scandal consuming the airwaves, some advertisers want nothing to do with the story.
Multiple companies have requested to ESPN that their advertisements not be aired during the Penn State football game Saturday, where the team will take on Nebraska in State College, Pa., sources have told the Wall Street Journal. The advertisers couldn't be confirmed.
I have multiple advertisers pulling ads from the ESPN broadcast, one ad buyer told Journal. I am advising my clients to move out of the games for the short term, another buyer said.
ESPN has declined to comment to media sources concerning advertisers pulling out.
Cars.com publicly announced Thursday that it would not advertise during the football game, nor would it advertise during the Penn State vs. Ohio State game next week.
Due to recent allegations surrounding the Penn State Football program, Cars.com has decided to withdraw from this weekend's sponsorship of the Nebraska at Penn State game on Saturday, November 12 at 12:00 P.M., the company announced in a statement.
As a proud, longtime supporter of ESPN College Football, it's important to us that we're building our brand and raising the visibility of our advertisers in a way that celebrates the sport, the dedication of its student athletes and the many reputable universities that field teams.
Fortunately for ESPN, Cars.com said it will still sponsor a game this weekend.
Whenever a scandal hits, advertisers often shy away from the subject. After a photo of Michael Phelps allegedly smoking marijuana circulated the Internet in 2008, Kelloggs decided to drop its endorsement. After Tiger Wood's sex scandal in 2009, his sponsors ended up dropping him.
But advertisers also follow success. Michael Vick was just re-signed by Nike this summer after his performances in the last NFL season.