Earlier this week, Omaha Steaks reportedly caved to liberal pressure from StopBeck.com and Media Matters and dropped its advertising on all Glenn Beck programs. But there's only one problem, Omaha Steaks says that never happened.
This morning, Omaha Steaks announced that they were removing their ads from Glenn Beck’s program (emphasis added):
Omaha Steaks buys large units of national television advertising during the holiday season. This year, we bought a package of advertising through the Fox Network. We did not specifically request to be included on the Glenn Beck program. As part of our contract, the Omaha Steaks ads run in a variety of time slots throughout the day.
We took your comments regarding the Glenn Beck Program to heart. After further review and careful consideration, we have decided to pull all advertising from Glenn Beck programming effective December 20th, 2010. Unfortunately, due to advertising cancellation policies, we were bound to continue possible ad placements through Sunday, December 19th.
At Omaha, we greatly value the loyalty and support of our customers, fans and followers and thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
Great work all! See, your tweets and messages really do matter.
It didn't take long for Omaha Steaks to deny the report. By Thursday afternoon the company deleted its original announcement and replaced it with a "correction":
The staff writers of our blog responded incorrectly and I want to apologize for any confusion this may have caused. The facts are: we did not “pull” our ads from any show. Our holiday TV advertising contract ends on December 19th. Our contract never specified when our ads would air, only that they would air. Mr. Beck’s show is enjoyed by many, and we at Omaha Steaks hope our steaks are too. Our marketing is designed to speak to Americans who love steaks and great food, getting together with family and friends and giving gifts of great taste – no matter what TV shows they watch or what newspapers they read.
CEO, Omaha Steaks
Omaha Steaks buys large units of national television advertising during the holiday season. This year, we bought a package of advertising through the Fox Network. We did not request to be included on specific program. As part of our contract, the Omaha Steaks ads run in a variety of time slots throughout the day.
At Omaha Steaks, we greatly value the loyalty and support of our customers, fans and followers and thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
But what exactly is Simon saying? His statement seems a little cryptic. Below the signature, it reads, "We did not request to be included on specific program" [sic]. It doesn't say whether or not it requested not to be included in any time slot or on any program, only that it didn't categorically "pull" its advertising.
Additionally, the initial statement announcing the decision references "pulling" advertising after December 20, during what appears to be a new contract. Yet Simon's statement only talks about the company's past contract, and says nothing about its plans going forward. Technically, a company can't pull ads that have yet to air as part of a new contract. Simon, then, could be right. So too could the writers of the old statement. That's because it seems the two statements are talking about completely different things. The point may be, well, technical, but in the business world many deals are made or lost on technicalities.
Still, the confusion cuts both ways. In an update to its original story, StopBeck.com included the following:
Omaha Steaks’ CEO posted a follow up statement this morning. At this point, I’m not sure what it means. I can’t tell if it’s designed to be cover given the backlash (at some points threatening) of Glenn Beck devotees or if they’re affirming support for Glenn Beck.
Time will tell…
That confusion, or at least the initial scathing post, is enough for Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit to go without meat from OS for a while:
I enjoyed buying from Omaha Steaks in the past.
I will not be calling Omaha Steaks this year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Media Matters, which originally used StopBeck.com's story as source to report on the "pulling," has not updated its story with the correction.