SORRY, NEWT. BOYCOTTING "socialist" newspapers is a nonstarter for advertisers. Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) recently exhorted companies to pull ads from papers whose editorial policies they dislike. Many editorial boards, he said, contain "socialists," the "mortal enemy" of the GOP agenda.
But this call to arms has little resonance, according to a survey by BUSINESS WEEK of a dozen or so large advertisers. None would pull ads.
Most echoed the spokes-man for brewer Adolph Coors, whose controlling family is staunchly conservative: "What we're concerned about is demographics, primarily men 21 to 34." A top ad exec at Sears, the biggest U.S. newspaper advertiser, said: "With our large customer base, we can't second-guess our customers' political views." One Boston ad exec said: "If we based our decisions on 100% agreement with editorial content, our clients wouldn't advertise anywhere."