Auto insurer GEICO has decided to stop running its ads on Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio program, the latest corporate fallout from the talk show host's much-publicized comments on gays.
The company, a major provider and direct marketer of auto insurance, said in a statement it has received a great deal of feedback -- mostly negative -- about its advertising on the program. Much of that negative response has come from those in the gay and lesbian community, who said they found the remarks made by the talk show host ``to be highly offensive and prejudicial,'' the company said.
An assistant to Schlessinger declined to comment and a spokeswoman for her show could not be reached immediately.
Schlessinger has angered gay-rights groups with her comments that homosexuality is ``deviant'' and a ``biological error.'' Earlier this year, Procter & Gamble pulled its ads both from the current Dr. Laura radio talk show and her upcoming television talk show this fall.
Gay rights activists have campaigned to try to stop television stations from broadcasting Schlessinger's ``Dr. Laura'' talk show, which is scheduled to debut in September.
A spokesman for GEICO declined to say whether the company had intended to advertise on the upcoming TV show. But the radio ads were pulled after audiences expressed concern, the company said.
``We do monitor the results of these advertising efforts closely, and we take seriously the feedback we receive from our policyholders and the listening and viewing public,'' GEICO said. The company ``does not condone discrimination of any type directed toward any minority.''
Schlessinger's show airs on 500 stations in the United States and Canada. It attracts some 20 million listeners.
unknown, July 7, 2000, (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation
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