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AOL is 8th advertiser to pull Limbaugh ads

Sandra Fluke

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Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke testified during a hearing before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

WASHINGTON (AP) — AOL is the eighth advertiser to drop Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in reaction to his derogatory comments about a law student.

AOL Inc. said Monday that ‘‘one of our core values is that we act with integrity. We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values.’’

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AOL spokeswoman Caroline Campbell said advertising on Limbaugh’s show was ‘‘not a significant investment for us.’’ She declined to say which products AOL advertised on the show, or whether its ad purchases were recent. AOL is an Internet portal and runs local news websites, the TechCrunch blog, and the Huffington Post.

The other companies to leave have included the flower delivery service ProFlowers, mortgage lender Quicken Loans, and the maker of Sleep Number beds.

Limbaugh called 30-year-old law student Sandra Fluke a ‘‘slut’’ and ‘‘prostitute’’ last week after she testified to congressional Democrats in support of national health care policies that would compel employers and other organizations, including her university, to offer group health insurance that covers birth control for women.

He apologized to Fluke on Saturday after advertisers began leaving the show. On Monday, he joked that he got a busy signal when he called his show because of the advertisers who are abandoning it.

Fluke said Monday that Limbaugh’s apology changes nothing and that Americans have to decide whether to support companies that continue to advertise on his program.

Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Inc. hosts Limbaugh’s program, one of the country’s most popular talk radio shows. The company is supporting Limbaugh, whose on-air contract with Premiere runs through 2016.

‘‘The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue,’’ Premiere Networks said in a statement on Sunday. ‘‘We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.’’

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment operates more than 850 radio stations in the U.S., and Premiere says it’s the largest radio content provider in the country, syndicating programs to more than 5,000 affiliate stations.

Clear Channel has declined to say how much revenue it stands to lose from advertiser defections. Its parent company was taken private in 2008.

The other advertisers that say they have pulled ads from his show are mattress retailer Sleep Train, software maker Citrix Systems Inc., online data backup service provider Carbonite and online legal document services company LegalZoom.

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