Olive Garden pulls Letterman ads
Following a week of back and forth between CBS late night comic David Letterman and Sarah Palin over a crude joke he told about the Alaska Republican governor’s daughter, the Olive Garden restaurant says it is cancelling all of its scheduled ads on Letterman’s “Late Show” for the rest of the year.
In an email to a Letterman critic obtained by POLITICO, a spokeswoman for the Italian restaurant chain wrote that “there will be no more Olive Garden ads scheduled for ‘The Late Show’ with David Letterman in this year's broadcast schedule,” citing the talk show host’s “inappropriate comments.”
“We apologize that Mr. Letterman’s mistake, which was not consistent with our standards and values, left you with a bad impression of Olive Garden,” wrote Sherri Bruen, the company’s guest relations manager.
Bruen said the company “screens network television programs whenever possible,” but explained that “telecasts, such as ‘The Late Show’ with David Letterman, are taped on a daily basis, preventing advertisers from reviewing the content prior to airing.”
A spokesman for the company confirmed Thursday that for now it has cancelled all its remaining scheduled ads on the CBS program for the rest of the year.
Ziegler has listed contact information for 14 advertisers on Letterman’s show, including Olive Garden, on his website dedicated to the comedian’s firing. He called the news an “obvious victory” but vowed to continue “our quest for some sense of accountability for Letterman in this matter.”
Letterman has apologized for his comment last week about Palin’s daughter getting “knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” during the governor’s recent visit to a Yankees baseball game. Palin attended the game as part of a trip to New York.
“Letterman certainly has the right to ‘joke’ about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction,” she said in a statement.