Is advertising about business, or politics?

This is an interesting piece by Jack Shafer of Politico. It argues against boycotts of shows such as The O’Reilly Factor, and cites at least one important factor (forgive the pun) to consider.

Specifically, from a business standpoint, advertisers aren’t necessarily endorsing the shows they sponsor. They’re merely interested in the same audience. It’s an important distinction.

Having worked for two national trade magazines, one of which was involved in a brutal war with “boycotting” advertisers, I’ve seen first-hand the results of advertising decisions that aren’t necessarily business based.

Of course, advertisers are free to chose with whom they advertise. And I know, if I was a media advertiser, there would be some outlets I’d rather not advertise in and support — for political reasons.

But at what point does politics trump business, especially if your business isn’t politics?

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