March 31, 2018 / 5:43 AM / 4 months ago

Fox's Ingraham taking vacation as advertisers flee amid controversy

(Reuters) - Fox News show host Laura Ingraham announced on her show late Friday that she is taking the week off, after many advertisers dropped her show after the conservative pundit mocked a teenage survivor of the Florida school massacre on Twitter.

At least 12 companies have pulled their ads after a pushback by Parkland student David Hogg, 17, who called for a boycott of her advertisers.

The latest company to drop Ingraham’s show, “The Ingraham Angle,” was the international pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE).

The company said on Saturday on Twitter: “We have stopped advertising on Laura Ingraham and we have no plans to resume any time in the future.”

A Fox News Channel spokeswoman said Ingraham was taking a pre-planned spring vacation with her children.

Hogg took aim at the host’s show after she taunted him on Twitter on March 28, accusing him of whining about being rejected by four colleges to which he had applied.

A combination of file photos show media personality Laura Ingraham in Washington October 14, 2017 and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, at a rally in Washington March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert, Jonathan Ernst/Files

Hogg is a survivor of the Feb. 14 mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Parkland suburb of Fort Lauderdale. He and other classmates have become the faces of a new youth-led movement calling for tighter restrictions on firearms.

Hogg tweeted a list of a dozen companies that advertise on “The Ingraham Angle” and urged his supporters to demand that they cancel their ads.

On Thursday, Ingraham tweeted an apology “in the spirit of Holy Week,” saying she was sorry for any hurt or upset she had caused Hogg or any of the “brave victims” of Parkland.

But her apology did not stop companies from departing.

The other companies announcing that they are cancelling their ads are: Nutrish, the pet food line created by celebrity chef Rachael Ray, travel website TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP.O), online home furnishings seller Wayfair Inc (W.N), the world’s largest packaged food company, Nestle SA (NESN.S), online streaming service Hulu, travel website Expedia Group Inc (EXPE.O) and online personal shopping service Stitch Fix (SFIX.O).

According to CBS News, four other companies joined the list Friday: the home office supply store Office Depot, the dieting company Jenny Craig, the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort and Johnson & Johnson which produces pharmaceuticals as well as consumer products such as Band-Aids, Neutrogena beauty products and Tylenol.

Hogg wrote on Twitter that an apology just to mollify advertisers was insufficient.

Ingraham’s show runs on Fox News, part of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O).

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; additional reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago, Gina Cherelus in New York, Andrew Hay; Editing by Kim Coghill and Chizu Nomiyama

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