More An­gry Ad­ver­tis­ers Aban­don Count­ing On

In Touch (USA) - - Cover Story -

Sev­eral ad­ver­tis­ers who made a large buy on ca­ble tele­vi­sion that spanned sev­eral net­works balked when their ads ran dur­ing sea­son one of Count­ing On due to Josh’s scan­dals. “We never in­tended to ad­ver­tise on the pro­gram,” a rep for Ver­i­zon Wire­less told In Touch at the time. Now the same thing is hap­pen­ing all over again. In Touch spoke to four ad­ver­tis­ers who were sur­prised to learn their spots aired dur­ing the sea­son two pre­miere of Count­ing On. Many are pulling their ads.

• GERBER LIFE: “The Gerber Life ad was in­ad­ver­tently shown dur­ing the pre­miere of Count­ing On. We have been as­sured that Gerber Life ads will no longer be shown dur­ing this pro­gram.”

“We 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.”

• THUMBTACK.COM: ”At this time, we are not buy­ing TV ad space for par­tic­u­lar pro­gram­ming or pro­grams, rather for net­works or groups of net­works in ag­gre­gate. Your ques­tion [about whether it was the com­pany’s in­ten­tion to air dur­ing Count­ing On] how­ever has opened a dis­cus­sion in­ter­nally on this topic.”

• HOTWIRE:

“Hotwire’s ads ap­pear on many ca­ble net­works in­clud­ing AMC, Bravo, HGTV, TNT, TBS, USA as well as TLC Net­work. While we are able to se­lect which ca­ble net­works air our ads, we do not se­lect the spe­cific shows. Af­ter fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion we have de­cided to re­move this net­work from our plan.”

(in­clud­ing four of his own sis­ters), and again last Au­gust when he was ex­posed as a pay­ing cus­tomer in the Ash­ley­madi­son.com cheat­ing web site hack. Jessa and Ben set up a meet­ing be­tween her lit­tle sis­ter Jinger, 22, and pro­fes­sional soc­cer player turned preacher Jeremy Vuolo, 28, “know­ing Jinger would fall head over heels in love,” says the fam­ily in­sider. “Jessa knew that it would be a won­der­ful rat­ings booster for Count­ing On if Jeremy be­gan court­ing Jinger.”

Af­ter just a few weeks, Jeremy pro­posed. “Jessa wanted Jinger’s en­gage­ment and wed­ding prepa­ra­tions to be the main story arc for the sea­son,” says the fam­ily in­sider. (Jessa will also get more at­ten­tion her­self fol­low­ing an Aug. 23 an­nounce­ment that she and Ben, 21, are ex­pect­ing their se­cond child in early 2017.) “Hav­ing peo­ple con­cen­trat­ing on what Josh said in an in­ter­view on the show would have over­shad­owed all the hard work Jessa had done.”

Jill, 25, agreed. She and her hus­band, Der­ick Dil­lard, who’ve been forg­ing a life with their tod­dler son, Is­rael, in Cen­tral Amer­ica, also were wor­ried an on-air in­ter­view fea­tur­ing Josh would be bad for the Dug­gars’ pub­lic im­age. (Josh is also be­ing sued by Matthew Mccarthy, the LAbased DJ and pho­tog­ra­pher whose pho­tos Josh used on his Ash­ley­madi­son.com pro­file.) “Jill and Jessa both re­ally thought Count­ing On should fo­cus more on some of their younger sib­lings, that the gen­tle fun they spot­lighted would harken back to the Dug­gars’ happy old 19 Kids and Count­ing shows from two or three years ago, be­fore it was made pub­lic Josh was a child mo­lester.”

The older boys sided with Jessa and Jill, too — leav­ing Jim Bob fum­ing. “Although Josh’s sib­lings have for­given Josh for what he did years ago, it was harder for them to ac­cept that he would bring shame to them again [with his cheat­ing and porn scan­dal],” ex­plains the fam­ily in­sider. John-david, 26, even re­cently ad­mit­ted, “I still love my brother and I still talk to him on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, but things have def­i­nitely changed some within the re­la­tion­ship.”

All of the dis­sent and de­fi­ance has rocked Jim Bob and Michelle’s re­la­tion­ship to its core as their kids chal­lenge their au­thor­ity. “Jim Bob and Michelle have seen their mar­riage go through a huge amount of stress be­cause of the sit­u­a­tion with Josh, and the new re­bel­lion has done noth­ing to help that,” ex­plains a se­cond source close to the fam­ily. “Jim Bob and Michelle are re­ally suf­fer­ing be­cause they’ve found them­selves to be at war with their own chil­dren — all be­cause they wanted to do some­thing they thought would help Josh. They see this as the ul­ti­mate be­trayal.”

The fam­ily is so frac­tured, the Duggar chil­dren are con­tem­plat­ing mov­ing away from the fam­ily’s Arkansas home base. “Jinger and Jeremy are con­sid­er­ing set­tling down in ei­ther Texas, where Jeremy is pas­tor of the Grace Com­mu­nity Church in Laredo, or New Jer­sey,” says the fam­ily in­sider, adding that Jill and Der­ick are not ex­pected to spend more than six more months as mis­sion­ar­ies in Cen­tral Amer­ica be­fore they re­turn to the U.S. “While it was ex­pected that they would live in Arkansas, the be­lief now is that they are look­ing at places far­ther afield, in­clud­ing the West Coast.” De­spite spear­head­ing the re­volt against Jim Bob, Jessa doesn’t want to move away from Arkansas be­cause she has so many friends there. “But things are def­i­nitely go­ing to be frosty be­tween her and her par­ents for the fore­see­able fu­ture,” adds the fam­ily in­sider.

De­spite how this whole or­deal has torn the once tight-knit fam­ily apart, Jim Bob won’t back down. “He still be­lieves see­ing a tearful Josh sit­ting be­side Anna, de­scrib­ing how God’s for­given him and how he’s started a new life with Anna and their four chil­dren, would be the best thing for the fam­ily and for rat­ings,” says the fam­ily in­sider. Even if he some­how man­ages to steam­roll his fam­ily and get his way down the line, “There are wounds the Duggar fam­ily en­dured dur­ing this re­bel­lion that will never be healed. Jim Bob and Michelle will find it dif­fi­cult to ever for­get that their own chil­dren stood up to them like this. The fam­ily will never be the same again.” ◼

Jim Bob didn’t think this would hap­pen in a mil­lion years” — A FAM­ILY IN­SIDER

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