Dunkin’ Donuts pulls ads on WEEI


dunkin-donutsDunkin’ Donuts has cancelled all advertising on the Entercom Boston/New England sports talker network. The chain was “upset” at a disparaging comment made by morning host Gerry Callahan, who was paid to do live reads and endorsements.

Phil Zachary, VP/market manager for Entercom/Boston told The Boston Globe the incident involved an off-the-cuff remark about donuts that Dunkin’ did not find amusing: “[Dunkin Donuts] heard the comments and took offense to it. You just don’t call somebody’s baby `ugly,’ even if it’s unintentional.”

Dunkin’s contract with WEEI flagship expired in January before the remarks but then ended its deal with WEEI’s other New England affiliates and Callahan’s personal endorsement contract after the comment.

A Dunkin’ Senior Field Marketing Manager told the paper:  “The decision to end our contract with WEEI in Boston and our endorsement sponsorship with Gerry Callahan…was made following a monthly review of the overall advertising mix and priorities for the region.”

See the Boston Globe story here.

RBR-TVBR observation: Looks like a case of sour grapes. Callahan was likely not happy that Dunkin’ had ended the contract in January and wanted to return the favor. Never a good idea in this business. Now the money will likely never come back to the WEEI-networked stations. It may spook other advertisers from doing an endorsement or live read deal as well there.


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.