I received the following message from Geico:
Dear Greg Reich:
Thank you for your Internet request.
Thank you for using GEICO’s online services.
Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. Let me assure you that we value your opinion and your business.
We purchase our advertising through a national media buyer and it appears on television stations and radio stations throughout the entire country. GEICO has no contract with any specific show, station, or channel. GEICO does not take positions or endorse opinions on stations where our advertising is run.
GEICO has long been, and continues to be, an insurer for everyone. As with any large national insurance company, our customer base is comprised of individuals who represent virtually every position on every issue. We support the first amendment rights of our policyholders and we strive to provide them with exceptional customer service, without regard to their views and beliefs.
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GEICO Internet Representative
Essentially, they're telling me that they do not endorse opinions, but their advertising dollars do just that; as long as Savage has financial support, he has a megaphone through which to shout baseless claims about autism.
The First Amendment rights of their policyholders aren't at issue here. The issue is that someone with national syndication--which is only possible with the support of advertising--is saying something that hurts children with autism and their parents, and Geico is part of that financial infrastructure. They most certainly can choose not to advertise during Savage's show; the association of their company with Savage certainly damages their corporate image, especially as other advertisers withdraw their support.
There was actually a spot on the Savage show tonight calling for entrepreneurs to advertise. I found that plea encouraging.
What I am doing now is writing to the advertisers I actually hear during the show, letting them know what time I heard their advertisements. It reduces the number of responses I get that tell me it's false that they advertise on his show.
Has anyone else received responses from anyone on my list at the right? I know AFLAC allegedly withdrew support, but I have never seen an official response, and I heard a commercial for them the other night.