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article imageUK Supermarket Pulls Fox News Ads Over Beck's Obama Remarks

By Chris Dade     Oct 5, 2009 in Business
The supermarket chain Waitrose has withdrawn its advertising from the Fox News Channel, shown in the U.K. on Sky, after its customers complained at remarks made about U.S. President Barack Obama by presenter Glenn Beck.
Considered the most upmarket of the supermarket chains in the U.K., Waitrose is a subsidiary of the retailer The John Lewis Partnership, which is effectively run as a worker's cooperative, all of its employees being known as partners.
And now, after complaints from some of its customers, the supermarket could not confirm the precise number received, a customer services spokesman for Waitrose has made the following announcement:We take the placement of our ads in individual programmes very seriously, ensuring the content of these programmes is deemed appropriate for a brand with our values. Since being notified of our presence within the Glenn Beck programme, we have withdrawn all Waitrose advertising from the Fox News channel with immediate effect and for all future TV advertising campaigns
The spokesman for Waitrose went on to say that his organization considered the decision to withdraw the advertising "the right thing to do", noting "We take the views of our customers seriously".
One of the complaints received had called the remarks made by Glenn Beck "right-wing cant".
As the Daily Mail reports, in July the arrest of black academic Henry Louis Gates in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he had attempted to break in to his own home after the front door had become stuck, prompted President Obama to remark that the police had acted "stupidly" by arresting the professor.
The furor which followed the arrest, the remark by the President and the defense of the actions of the arresting officer Sergeant James Crowley by his superiors culminated in the professor and the sergeant being invited to the White House to share a cold beer with the President.
Charges of disorderly conduct against Professor Gates were eventually dropped.
However the remark made by the President led Fox News presenter Glenn Beck to suggest that the President was a "racist" who has "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture", before adding 'I'm not saying that Obama doesn't like white people'.
Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Travelocity were three of several U.S.companies to withdraw their advertising from Glenn Beck's show because, the Guardian says, they feared becoming "tainted by association".
According to its website Waitrose has some 37,000 employees, or partners, and 185 branches in the U.K. Starting out as a small grocery store in West London in 1904 it now has a turnover of £6 billion ($9.5 billion).
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