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Volume 24 No. 156
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Companies Pulling Ads From Penn State Games As A Result Of Scandal

About a "half-dozen advertisers have pulled commercials from ESPN's broadcasts of coming" Penn State Univ. football games as a result of the child sexual abuse scandal surrounding the university, according to a source cited by Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. One media-time buyer said, "I have multiple advertisers pulling ads." Another buyer added, "I am advising my clients to move out of games for the short term." The identity of "most of the advertisers couldn't be learned," though last week announced it was pulling it presenting sponsorship on ESPN for last Saturday's game against Nebraska and this Saturday's game against Ohio State. ESPN "isn't likely to experience much financial pain from ads that are pulled because in most cases marketers will move the ads to other games." Chicago-based Engage Marketing President & Chief Solutions Officer Kevin Adler said that the scandal also "may prompt some corporate sponsors of Penn State's athletic program to end their deals." A GM spokesperson said the company is "'reviewing' its Chevrolet sponsorship of the athletic program but 'right now, we have no plans to pull' it" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/13). Penn State plays Ohio State Saturday at 3:30pm ET on either ABC or ESPN; broadcast details of the Nov. 26 game against Wisconsin have yet to be released (THE DAILY).

Interim coach Tom Bradley addresses the media
in front of sponsorless backdrop banner

PAINT JOB: AD AGE's Rich Thomaselli reported paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams has "taken its logo off the banner that serves as a backdrop to all Penn State football press conferences." Meanwhile, a page on, PSU's official athletic website, that listed more than two dozen corporate partners -- "including such blue-chip brands as Pepsi and Nike -- under the heading of 'Penn State Athletics would like to thank its Corporate Partners for their support,' is now blank." However, Nike "has no current plans to rename one of the buildings on its Beaverton, Ore., campus -- the Joe Paterno Child Development Center" (, 11/11).

READERS WEIGH IN: The WALL STREET JOURNAL over the weekend printed a sentiment tracker: a computational analysis of the conversation on social networks. Among the 20,000 responses about the PSU scandal, 50% said the firing of coach Joe Paterno "was right," while 30% showed "disgust at rioting Penn State students." Fourteen percent "still love Joe Pa," while 6% said the firing was "wrong," and 2% voted for "jokes" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/12). Meanwhile, the school last week "canceled or postponed several events related to" its "For The Future" fundraising campaign, including the "President's Tailgate" before Saturday's game. The campaign had raised $1.3B by April 30 toward a "goal of $2 billion by 2014" (REUTERS, 11/11).