Limbaugh: Advertisers that left after Fluke controversy still using his brand
On his Wednesday program, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh — who took heat from advertisers after his ill-advised comments about Georgetown Law student and self-described contraception activist Sandra Fluke — said two of those advertisers are still using his name and brand despite having dropped him after the incident.
Limbaugh said he was notified by an intellectual property attorney that he could have a claim against these former advertisers.
“I did not know this was going on,” he explained. “I got an email from a very famous lawyer friend of mine. I know a lot of lawyer’s — my dad was one. My grandfather was one. My cousin is a federal judge. ‘Dear Mr. Limbaugh, I’m an intellectual property attorney and fan of yours and I believe you may have an unfair competition claim against Shari’s Berries.’ Apparently ladies and gentlemen, and you need to know this — both ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries are still using the offer code ‘RUSH’ in advertising for those products.”
“I need you to know they are not advertisers here,” he added. “They are two advertisers that went public during the Sandra Fluke episode and expressed their shock and their outrage, how they could no longer possibly be associated with anything like this program. And yet they continue to try and associate themselves with this program.”
Limbaugh pointed out that RushBerries.com and RushProFlowers.com redirect back to the websites for Shari’s Berries and the ProFlowers, both brands of the online company Provide Commerce, Inc. He also mentioned that some radio spots may have still been running with the offer code “RUSH” despite disassociating with his program.
“The most we can do with it here on the air is to let you know that we have no official linkage — we’re not part, they’re not advertisers here,” he said. “They’re making it very tough. We tried to play this above board, but there are a number of advertisers who back then in the heat of the moment canceled then asked to come back. We said no to them. This is an attempt here after they went public with ‘how they could not possibly be associated with such a program,’ they endeavor to be associated with the program on the sly. So I just wanted you to know.”