The Jerry Sandusky sex scandal that has rocked Penn State has now caused at least six sponsors to pull their support from programs involved with the university.
Among those sponsors are Cars.com who pulled out of Saturday’s game on ESPN while other marketers have asked that ESPN not place their ads in spots following or preceding any news about the Penn State sex scandal.
One ad buyer told the Wall Street Journal:
“I have multiple advertisers pulling ads from the ESPN broadcast.”
Health insurers GM and Highmark in the meantime both announced that they are reviewing their sponsorship spots to determine if any association related to Penn State will hurt their image.
In the meantime some top level advertisers including State Farm and Pepsi have decided not to take action against the universities sex scandal cover-up.
As one VP for a sports marketing company points out it took sponsors for Tiger Woods several weeks to ditch the former golf star:
“Unlike Mr. Woods, this story affects more than a family unit, it affects all moms and dads so it will take longer to repair the school’s image.”
Officials at the university have attempted to rectify the situation as quickly as possible starting with the firing of Joe Paterno, the men’s football team head coach who served in his position for nearly five decades.
It seems to me that ESPN is paying the price for the actions of a third party. Do you believe that sponsors pulling their ads from ESPN is the right way to address the issue?