More Angry Advertisers Abandon Counting On
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’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