Political Animal


March 05, 2012 2:41 PM Limbaugh’s Advertisers: The Dead Enders

By Paul Glastris

ThinkProgress has been able to confirm only two advertisers that are still sticking with Rush Limbaugh. One is Lear Capital, one of those peddlers of gold coins common on talk radio. The other is an identity theft protection company called Lifelock. Turns out Lifelock has a rap sheet with the FTC, having paid $12 million in 2010 to settle false claims charges. As Wired reported at the time:

The CEO of Lifelock, Todd Davis, became famous for advertising his Social Security number on television ads and billboards promising his $10 monthly service would protect consumers from identity theft.
The company also offered a $1 million guarantee to compensate customers for losses incurred if they became a victim of identity theft after signing up for the service.
But the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that the claims were bogus (.pdf) and accused Lifelock, based in Arizona, of operating a scam and con operation. The commission announced, along with 35 state attorneys general, that it had levied a fine of $12 million against the company for deceptive business practices and for failing to secure sensitive customer data. Of that amount, $11 million will go to refund customers who subscribed to the service. Consumers will receive a letter from the FTC and their attorney general explaining how to take part in the settlement.

The FTC said that Lifelock, which advertises itself as “#1 In Identity Theft Protection,” engaged in false advertising by promising customers that if they signed up with its service their personal information would become useless to thieves.

“In truth, the protection they provided left such a large hole … that you could drive that truck through it,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, referring to a Lifelock TV ad showing a truck painted with the CEO’s Social Security number driving around city streets.

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.


  • Robert on March 05, 2012 3:10 PM:

    Gold coins (the worst investment since tulips) and consumer fraud. That about sums up Limbaugh. Bull Shit sticking with the Bull Shitter.

  • June on March 05, 2012 3:36 PM:

    Not surprised to hear about Lifelock - where else but at Limbaugh's show are they going to find an audience gullible enough to purchase identity security from a company whose CEO has had his identity stolen thirteen times?

    "In June 2007, in the wake of a New Times article that exposed how LifeLock was founded with lies, news leaked that Davis had become the victim of identity theft. A man in Texas had used Davis' ID to take out a $500 loan, and Davis didn't know about it until the unpaid account went to a collection agency."

  • Varecia on March 05, 2012 4:05 PM:

    I recently heard about LifeLock...from a dumbfounded LifeLock customer who was struck by an identity theft situation.

  • TCinLA on March 05, 2012 4:18 PM:

    Two thoughts:

    "Birds of a feather, flock together."

    "In this world of pain and sorrow, there is much to be thankful for; as for me, I am thankful I am not a Republican." - H.L. Mencken

  • Kris on March 06, 2012 5:02 AM:

    It's great to see that all reputable companies have ditched Limbaugh on a national level, but I noticed a much larger list of advertisers in The Atlantic's article here: http://m.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/03/all-advertisers-who-are-sticking-limbaugh/49499/
    I'm assuming that the additional ads are all local buys. Does anybody know how much putting pressure on local businesses to pull ads will make an effect?