The future of Jill & Jessa: Counting On may depend on the number of advertisers left standing after its current season comes to an end, and things aren’t looking good for the Duggar family. A major company branded the Duggars “offensive” after TLC erroneously aired one of its ads, and Jill & Jessa: Counting On isn’t just bleeding advertisers — viewership has decreased dramatically since the premiere episode.
Fruit and vegetable production company Dole is the latest advertiser trying to distance itself from the Duggar family. According to InTouch Weekly, one of its Fruitocracy ads ran during last week’s episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On. However, the company says that it did not authorize TLC to air the commercial.
“The company does not run advertising on shows with content that might be offensive to our consumers,” a Dole spokesman said.
Numerous other companies have made similar comments about their ads airing during Jill & Jessa: Counting On. Representatives for Cici’s Pizza, The UPS Store, Wrigley, Choice Hotels, and Mattress Firm all stated that they did not intend for their companies’ ads to run during the show, and they revealed that they were taking steps to ensure that TLC did not air them again.
However, the Duggar family hasn’t been completely abandoned by advertisers. According to Starcasm, big companies like Match.com, DirecTV, Disney, and Comcast/NBCUniversal are still running ads during Jill & Jessa: Counting On. As the Inquisitr previously reported, members of Facebook groups like No More Duggars and Cancel the Duggars have ongoing campaigns to contact companies like these that have not vowed to pull their commercials from Counting On. They’ve successfully lobbied a very lengthy list of advertisers, so there’s a good chance that they will succeed in getting more companies to dump the Duggar family.
TLC may have a hard time tempting new companies to fill the available ad space during Jill & Jessa: Counting On if the series’ viewership continues to go down. It has decreased 30 percent since its premiere, and the show isn’t attracting as many eyeballs as TLC would like for critics of the Duggar family to believe. During an interview with FOX411, TLC General Manager Nancy Daniels claimed that the Duggar family’s new show has been a ratings success for the network.
“At the end of the day we have millions and millions of young loyal viewers who support the [Duggar] girls,” Daniels said.
However, according to Show Buzz Daily, the latest episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On was only watched by 1.3 million viewers.
Nancy Daniels also tried to downplay the impact of the aforementioned anti-Duggar campaigns by claiming that the number of viewers who have a problem with the Duggar family being on TV is small but vocal. However, if history repeats itself, Jill & Jessa: Counting On could be in serious danger of getting cancelled.
In May of last year, the New York Times reported that dozens of companies responded to the Josh Duggar sexual molestation scandal by pulling their ads from 19 Kids and Counting. The final season of the reality series averaged 3.5 million viewers, which is more than double the amount of eyeballs that Jill & Jessa: Counting On is attracting. However, this wasn’t enough to tempt TLC into keeping the show on the air. After bleeding advertisers for a few weeks, the network decided to cancel 19 Kids and Counting.
Critics of the Duggar family aren’t the only group who have spoken out against Jill & Jessa: Counting On— some fans of the family have also complained about the series. However, their main issue with the Duggars’ new show is that they don’t get to see enough of certain members of the family. In a recent Facebook post, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar asked fans to share their thoughts about the latest episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On. Numerous commenters responded by letting the parents know that they want to see more of them on the show, and this could be an indication that the shift of focus away from Jim Bob and Michelle is why Counting On isn’t pulling in the same ratings as 19 Kids and Counting.
“Watched it and loved it. Love seeing the family again,” Denise MacLaren wrote. “Wish they would show more of the younger kids and Michelle and Jim Bob.”
“I enjoyed it as usual, but it’s not the same without Michelle (my personal favorite), Jim Bob, and the laughter and joy the little ones brought us,” Neida Gómez- Hilerio commented.
It remains to be seen whether TLC will respond to its latest Duggar debacle by appeasing loyal fans like these by focusing more on Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, or whether the network will decide that it’s done with the Duggar family for good after this season of Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
[Image via TLC]