Fox Business News: Hey CEOs, We’ll Be Nice To You! Just Like Everyone Should!

Fox Business News, home of business luminaries (visionaries?) such as Lou Dobbs, famous for wanting the Messicans out, and Neil Cavuto, who ignores codes of ethics, has been running this biting ad on rival business TV news show CNBC. While CNBC has had its own slew of problems, FBN is basically accusing CNBC of not being fawning enough.

For those not watching, the commercial is simply a recording of what is purported to be a booker for CNBC, with the text superimposed.  He says:

Hi, this is Eric confirming your booking for Tuesday… now please remember our CNBC POLICY… we cannot use guests who have a same-day appearance on Fox Business News or Bloomberg… and by accepting a booking by CNBC, you acknowledge and accept the terms of this policy?

Um, is that clear?


Of course, the background is CNBC headquarters, darkened and faded a bit.  A smarmy announcer then comes on, rhetorically asking:

Does CNBC really think they can order CEOs around?!

The“?!” used here is just swell.  While you can’t hear it in the smarmy-man’s voice, it’s the kind of punctuation I imagine many in the Fox News media world viewership are accustomed to.  Cue a big, shining, golden logo of FOX BUSINESS NEWS, with the smarmy-man saying

We know how to talk to business leaders!

While some may wonder why CNBC would ever allow a commercial bashing themselves to air on their own network, it makes sense for CNBC.  So much sense that they told AdAge that “of all [Fox Business News’] slogans, we like this one the best.”

Not only does it attempt to rebuff the criticism of CNBC being business lapdogs by pointing at the next guy, it reflects at the very least an attitude that FBN takes orders.

Which is not exactly something they teach you in j-school.

It also fits into the stereotypical CEO’s attitude of “No one gives me orders! I’m the only one around here that gives orders!” I’ve met and spoken with a lot of CEOs.  Thank the lord they tend to actually be a fairly humble bunch.

I do like this ad for one thing though- it’s got all the campaign-ad Karl Rovian-tropes.  Whiny sounding guy…dark, distorted background… all that glittering gold…

If that sort of thing doesn’t convince you to watch, I don’t know what will.


About Michael Ballaban

Editor, The Ball-Aban News

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