Josh Duggar is persona non grata these days, but the scandal-plagued first-born of Jim Bob and Michelle continues to wreak havoc on his family.
If you watch Counting On online (formerly Jill & Jessa: Counting On), you’ll soon be doing so without some familiar corporate sponsors.
In the two weeks since TLC brought back the latest iteration of the Duggar family hour, at least four major companies have jumped ship.
Apparently having remembered that Josh exists, even though he hasn’t appeared on camera once, corporate execs are freaking out!
Last year, 12 companies yanked their advertising in the wake of Josh Duggar’s scandals, of both the molestation and infidelity variety.
That ultimately led TLC to shelve 19 Kids and Counting in July 2015, only to bring the family back and have them Counting On this winter.
One would think, with Josh jettisoned to rehab and a shift in focus toward Jill, Jessa, Jinger Duggar and others, that the storm had passed.
Any advertisers who didn’t bail initially wouldn’t have any objections to the renewed, Josh-free version of the popular reality show, right?
Gerber Life, Trivago, Thumbtack (dot) com and Hotwire have joined the others who have previously ended their relationship with TLC.
When a Gerber Life ad aired during the premiere of Counting On, a spokesman for the company issued a statement, released this week:
“The Gerber Life ad was inadvertently shown during the premiere of Counting On,” the prompt damage control mode statement said.
“We have been assured that Gerber Life ads will no longer be shown during this program,” the company added, reassuring its customers.
Trivago also released a statement, saying it “[did not have]control over when the advertisement ran, as it was a direct response buy.”
“We did not purposely intend to advertise during any specific TLC program,” Trivago Guy said, with his beseeching gaze and new haircut.
Just kidding, the guy from the ads is not who issues PR statements on behalf of the corporations, although how awesome would that be.
Hotwire also pleaded ignorance, saying they’re unable to choose which shows air the company’s ads, and can only choose the network.
“Hotwire ads appear on many cable networks including AMC, Bravo, HGTV, TNT, TBS, USA as well as TLC Network,” the site said.
“While we are able to select which cable networks air our ads, we do not select the specific shows,” the statement explained.
“After further consideration,” i.e. realizing who the Duggar family is, “we have decided to remove this network from our plan.”
Thumbtack (dot) com’s statement reads: “At this time, we are not buying TV ad space for particular programming or programs.”
They, too, purchased ad space not for specific shows like Counting On, but “for networks or groups of networks in aggregate.”
In addition to the fact that he molested his sisters, Duggar was also caught using Ashley Madison, a website for people who want affairs.
Given his background as a conservative family values activist, and his parents’ role in covering up the molestation, it was a tough stretch.
Still, the worst appeared to have passed.
Josh is married to Anna Duggar, who has somehow stayed by his side throughout this ordeal, now stretching for nearly a year and a half.
Even as many hoped she would bolt faster than Trivago after seeing its ads air during Counting On, they are still married and living together.
Josh only has a flip phone now at least.
Will the show survive given this new slew of sponsor departures – and will Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar break up for real at this rate?
Hit the comments below to discuss.