The O'Reilly Factor faces exodus of advertisers over sexual harassment scandal

Over the past two days, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW and more than a dozen other blue-chip advertisers have withdrawn spots from the show amid the scandal over sexual harassment allegations leveled at the veteran Fox News host.

Hyundai said early Tuesday that it is not now advertising on "The O'Reilly Factor" but will remove upcoming ads because of the "recent and disturbing allegations".

The companies included Allstate Corp., Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, BMW of North America, Constant Contact, GlaxoSmithKline, Mercedez-Benz, Sanofi SA, Untuckit, and T.Rowe Price.

The National Organization for Women on Tuesday called for O'Reilly to be fired and demanded an independent investigation into the "culture of sexual harassment" at Fox News. Ailes is facing a new sexual harassment case filed by a Fox News contributor, Julie Roginsky.

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Apparently, the company has stood by O'Reilly who claims that the allegations are as a result of his prominence.

A Fox statement said the channel was working with its "partners to address the concerns".

There is a possibility that other corporations would remove their ads from the TV program. O'Reilly, in a statement posted on his website on Saturday, said he had been unfairly targeted because of his prominence.

If "The O'Reilly Factor" leaves the schedule there is no obvious successor who could serve as the same kind of tent pole for the prime-time lineup.

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Some of those past payments by Fox News to women are being investigated by federal prosecutors to see if they were structured to avoid disclosing them to investors in 21st Century Fox, as first disclosed by a lawyer to suspended Fox News host Andrea Tantaros, who is now suing Ailes and the network. How many women must come forward before Fox News complies with the law and respects women, ' asked Bloom in a press release over the weekend.

Media reports said as many as 12 brands had chose to drop ads on the show as of Tuesday. O'Reilly is also a best-selling author whose books have been adapted for television - a one-man, multimedia juggernaut and a star asset for the business associates and sponsors in his orbit.

Fox News stood by Bill O'Reilly when he settled a high-profile sexual harassment lawsuit in 2004 and when a 2015 Mother Jones article chronicled the host's misleading claims about having covered a "war zone" during the Falklands War.

It is important to note that the companies pulling their ads did not do so due to consumer pressure - a sign that society as a whole takes sexual harassment far more seriously than ever before.

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