Update on USAA’s Advertising Policy
User USAA Community Manager
Last week, USAA became aware that our advertising policy was not being applied consistently, as USAA had been advertising in error on some opinion-based shows. As a result, we removed advertising on some 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. This decision had nothing to do with any specific topic on any of these programs and is not an endorsement or criticism of the shows or their content.
While USAA understands the value of these programs and believes in free speech, our policy exists to avoid any suggestion of bias or support for one set of views over another. We heard from many of you and recognize that our decision to stop advertising on Hannity created confusion and concern among those who believed USAA was caving to pressure or abandoning someone who is a strong supporter of the military. This was not the case.
However, we also understand that the lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred. As such, we are reviewing our policy to determine how best to apply it in today’s environment and in line with our mission. While we do that, we will reinstate all previously removed ads on programs representing a variety of viewpoints later this week.
Since 1922, we have proudly served the military and their families. Our commitment is carried out every day through the way we care for our members during their times of greatest need from automobile accidents to catastrophic weather losses; the veterans and military spouses we employ; our willingness to provide loans at no interest when those serving don’t get paid; and the donations we make to our community and non-profit organizations dedicated to military family resiliency.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission, living our core values and serving our members. Thank you for your membership.
User SoPatronizing (Opens a pop up layer) Contributor
An explanation was provided by Roger Wildemuth, USAA spokesman, that the ads that were placed on The Hannity Fox Show were were placed in error as the company has a policy of not advertising on opinion-based shows. According to USAA, the company policy allows advertisements to appear on only news programming. For USSA to think your customer base would not have the intelligence to see through this very simplistic and untruthful explanation is both insulting and patronizing. As I understand it, USAA currently advertises on the following 'opinon' news shows; shows hosted by Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Chris Matthews. Good luck finding ANY news programming that is not 'chock full' of opinion based 'news' reporting, if that is truly your policy.
I would have expected better from a company that has received the support of life-long career service men, women and their families. A truthful, honest and consistent policy would better represent both your customers and your company. From my perspective, another one bites the dust and pushes so many of us into the cynicism that there may be few if any that cannot be easily manipulated - and then lie to excuse themselves.
User Paulskiya (Opens a pop up layer) Occasional Contributor
User Whipper-in (Opens a pop up layer) Contributor
Very disappointed that Gen Les Lyles would permit this to happen. I have worked for this gentleman (twice) and have difficulty believing he cannot fix this problem.
I, too, can make choices as to where to spend my money. Those choices will probably exclude USAA so long as USAA chooses to back the leftist progressives and not one of the leading celebrity supporters of veterans and the military.
If I am still a member at the time of the next election, I know who will NOT get my vote.
User cavedtoliberals (Opens a pop up layer) Contributor
Has anybody found another insurer/bank that has not caved to the liberal left? Looking to drop all of my USAA accounts.
User lewillia (Opens a pop up layer) Regular Contributor
What a load! My BS meter pegged and the needle broke off! It was just a 'coincidence' this "error in advertising programming on opinion shows" was discovered within 24 hours of Media Matters publishing thier list...that's your story USAA? And just how does that explain MSNBC advertising continuing for several days after you pulled Hannity? And why your Twitter responses specifically called out Hannity show and did not reference any other shows? AGAIN It's not the crime it's your lying coverup!
User Elvis001 (Opens a pop up layer) Regular Contributor
So, it was just coincidence that:
1) USAA's "error" was "discovered" simultaneously with and independently of USAA being listed (by a political organization that opposes the specific network and personality) as an advertiser, and
2) The CNBC, CNN, etc programming wasn't dropped because of the significant backlash USAA experienced
Do I understand this right?
User NAVJAG (Opens a pop up layer) Contributor
Lest some forget, this country was founded by Liberals and our Civil Rights (e.g., the Bill of Rights) are liberal ideas. The Conservatives were the Royalists. But, more to the point, I applaud USAA for dropping advertising from all opinion-based shows. USAA is there for all of us, Liberal, Conservative, Independent, those things do not matter, we all took the oath to support and defend the Constitution, not a person, and it is better for the organization to remain political-party neutral and stick to "just the facts," not side with opinions.