Sponsors continued to abandon TLC's scandal-plagued "19 Kids and Counting"on Wednesday in the wake of an unearthed police report stating the reality TV family's eldest child, Josh Duggar, 27, had molested several underage girls when he was a teen.
Ace Hardware, Behr Paint, ConAgra Foods -- whose brands include Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM and Reddi-wip -- Party City and Pure Leaf Iced Tea were among those who announced on social media they were joining the exodus. These followed the departures Tuesday of Allstate Insurance, Choice Hotels, General Mills, Payless ShoeSource and Walgreens.
"Ace ads ran on this show as part of an overall ad buy with TLC," the hardware chain posted in direct replies to individual tweets. "We are removing our ads from any future episodes of the show." Behr likewise referred to an overall TV-advertising plan, tweeting, "Our campaign ads ran during this show as part of a larger media buy and we have since taken steps to remove our advertising from all future episodes of '19 Kids and Counting.' "
Episodes remain on the TLC website, and despite the critical backlash, the network might be planning to hold onto the highly rated reality TV show about the conservative Christian family. An unnamed "source close to the Duggars" contended to People magazine Wednesday that TLC might shift the focus of the show toward two of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's daughters and their husbands, Jill and Derick Dillard, and Jessa and Ben Seewald.
A spokeswoman for TLC told Newsday the network had no comment regarding the show or its advertisers.