BOOM! Advertisers Issue Ultimatum To NFL Over National-Anthem Protests…

NBCUniversal’s head of advertising, Linda Yaccarino admitted on Friday during a keynote interview that anthem protesters have hurt ratings.

Furthermore, Yaccarino said that NBC advertisers are now threatening to pull their ads should NBC continue to cover the anthem protests.

Deadline Hollywood reports:

While NBC’s advertisers have not complained publicly about the protests, as the head of Papa John’s did this week, Yaccarino described plenty of angst behind the scenes.

“There is a list of advertisers that have made themselves very clear: ‘If you continue to cover the political coverage of the issue, we will not be part of the NFL,’” Yaccarino said. “Think about it—they have half the country that is cheering about that and half the country that is emailing them saying, ‘Don’t do that.’ That’s a real thing.”

Armstrong said when the NFL looks to make new video deals in 2022, when current broadcast contracts expire, Verizon and Oath would not rule out a bid. “As a media company, you want to be in places where people are the most passionate,” he said.

Yaccarino’s interview isn’t the first the public has heard of advertisers threatening to pull their ads over player protests.

According to Yaccarino, the NFL’s broadcast partners only started airing the national anthem after the controversy began.

Marketers want broadcasters to start focusing on the games again.

Earlier this week, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter and other top Papa John’s executives.

CNBC reports:

Papa John’s is reconsidering its sponsorship of the NFL amid declining ratings, the pizza chain confirmed to CNBC.

Papa John’s executives told The Wall Street Journal that top executives discuss returns on their advertising dollars with the NFL weekly and will see what happens for the rest of the season before making a decision. Additionally, Papa John’s is completely rethinking its advertising strategy as consumers cut the cord and move to digital.

[…] Papa John’s founder John Schnatter slammed NFL leadership on Wednesday for not resolving the kneeling protests. He blamed the NFL for lackluster third-quarter pizza sales as the company’s stock sank 11 percent.

Yaccarino tried to assure the public that so far, advertisers haven’t pulled out of NFL games because of the protests.  However, that could all change, and soon.

Marketers have promised to pull their ads if a change isn’t made.

Business Insider reports:

“Marketers have said, ‘We will not be part of the NFL if you continue covering it,'” Yaccarino said.

Since last year, when Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback at the time, started kneeling during the anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality, several NFL players have joined the protest. President Donald Trump has been highly critical of the players’ actions.

There has been a lot of debate over whether the protests are the cause of a recent dip in NFL ratings. But earlier this week, the CBS chief Les Moonves expressed confidence in the NFL as an advertising vehicle, saying no marketers had pulled out, Ad Age reported.

Could this be the beginning of the end for player protests during the national anthem?

Let us know what you think, and sound off in the comments below.