Amid brouhaha, Keurig says it didn’t mean to take sides in Moore scandal
Keurig found itself in the midst of a brewing controversy after it removed its advertising from Hannity in response to the Fox News host’s comments that U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama — accused of sexual misconduct with teen girls — should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Met with calls to dump its advertising from the highly-rated show, Keurig and a handful of other retail companies over the weekend quickly responded on Twitter that they would. But fans of Hannity responded with their own #KeurigBoycott, featuring fans destroying their coffee machines.
By Monday, the maker of coffee machines and disposable flavor pods was trying to back out of the social media storm.
A memo to Keurig Green Mountain employees from CEO Bob Gamgort, obtained by The Washington Post, said the Waterbury, Vt., company did not mean to appear as if it was “taking sides” in what had already been a heated cultural discussion about Moore. The company’s move to make its announcement on Twitter “was done outside of company protocols,” he said in a memo to employees Monday.
Later in the day, Sean Hannity said on his radio show that he considered Gamgort’s comments an apology and asked his supporters for a “cease-fire” in destroying Keurig machines.
He said he would delete the videos of machines being destroyed.
“I don’t want people losing their jobs because sales drop so dramatically because conservatives don’t want to buy their machines,” Hannity said.
Still, one person on Twitter noted: “You can’t boycott something you already spent your money on. Protip: You’re not getting your money back because you destroyed it.”
Representatives for Keurig and Fox did not respond to requests for comment.
This latest flare-up engulfing Keurig suggests the critical situation facing some advertisers on news programs with commentary that can politically divide the viewing audience.
It hasn’t been the smoothest two years for Keurig Green Mountain, which was acquired in March 2016 for $13.9 billion by JAB Holding Co. of Luxembourg. The decade before that, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters completed its acquisition of Keurig.
The company laid off 130 employees in June, after laying off 108 the year before in the wake of discontinuing its $370 Keurig Kold system, which made cold beverages including Coke.
Keurig also laid off another 200 in 2015.
Sean Hannity said he considered Keurig CEO Bob Gamgort’s comments an apology and asked for a “cease-fire” in destroying Keurig machines.