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The Sleep Train wants to come back to The Rush Limbaugh Show, but the talk show host has rejected the company's request. The company pulled its advertising after Limbaugh had a run-in with Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student (and Cornell grad).

According to one report, over 140 companies have pulled their advertising, and apparently, The Sleep Train was the first. The Sleep Train had a 25-year advertising relationship with the show, but tweeted its initial decision:

Sleep Train

Now, the Sleep Train wants to begin advertising once again. However, although his show now suffers with dead air during some commercial breaks, Limbaugh has cut off the relationship. In an email, the show explained the decision: 

"Thank you for your requests last week and this week to restart your voiced endorsement in local markets of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Rush received your requests personally.

"Unfortunately, your public comments were not well received by our audience, and did not accurately portray either Rush Limbaugh’s character or the intent of his remarks. Thus, we regret to inform you that Rush will be unable to endorse Sleep Train in the future. 

"Rush appreciates your long friendship and your past support, and we wish you good luck in the future."

Limbaugh did apologize for his comments about the law student. On his website, he posted a statement that included this message:

"My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

Discussion Starters:

This is a highly charged, political situation, but let's focus on the relevant communication decisions and messages.

  • How do you interpret Sleep Train's initial decision and its attempt to return?
  • What's your view of Rush Limbaugh's decision to reject the advertiser? Does it reflect a smart business decision, sticking with one's principles, or something else?
  • How well do you think Limbaugh's email conveyed the message to Sleep Train?
  • How do you assess Limbaugh's apology? Do you find it sincere, insincere, or somewhere in between?