USAA is assessing its advertising placement rules after learning our commercials were airing on opinion-based television news programs, which is inconsistent with a policy in place since 2011.
Last week, USAA ads were removed from several programs, including ”Hannity” on Fox News, “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC, and “The Lead with Jake Tapper” on CNN.
We heard from our members and know the decision to stop advertising on these shows created confusion and concern among those who believe USAA was caving to pressure or abandoning someone who is a strong supporter of the military. This isn’t the case. The decision was based on our advertising policy and not the result of outside pressure or related to anything done or said on these programs.
While we review our advertising policy, all previously removed USAA ads on programs representing a variety of perspectives will be reinstated later this week. We understand that the lines between news and commentary are increasingly blurred. As such, the review of our policy will seek to determine how best to apply it in the current media environment.
USAA recognizes the value of these TV programs and believes in free speech. Our advertising policy seeks to avoid any suggestion of bias or support for one set of views over another and will continue to honor diversity and inclusion of perspectives.
Since 1922, USAA has proudly served the military and their families, and our ranks are heavy with veterans and military spouses. All of our employees are unwavering in their fulfillment of USAA’s mission in our members’ times of need – from automobile accidents to catastrophic weather losses; providing loans at no interest when those serving don’t get paid; and through donations to our community and non-profit organizations dedicated to military family resiliency.
You advertise where your potential customers can be reached. I get it. We all get it. No bias or support is inferred. The moment you withdraw advertising, you exhibit the very bias you you say you want to avoid. Stop trying to be politically correct and stick to business. The single thing for which I hold you accountable are reasonable rates for a good product. Fail in this regard and you're fired.