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Penn State scandal: Advertisers backing out

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Many might have tuned in to Saturday’s Penn State game, but some advertisers will not take advantage of the extra eyes tuning in in the wake of the college’s sexual assault scandal. Following this week’s news that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had allegedly sexually abused several young boys, advertisers backed out of airing spots during Saturday’s game, as well as upcoming Penn State matches. The Wall Street Journal reports up to a half dozen companies — including Cars.com — have pulled out of airing their commercials on ESPN’s broadcast of Penn State football. “The school’s image is damaged and brands will disassociate,” sports marketer Kevin Adler, of Engage Marketing, told WSJ.

Penn State may also have to worry about its corporate sponsors as well. According to the WSJ, sponsors like PepsiCo Inc., have yet to make any movement, but General Motors Co., says it is “reviewing” its attachment to the school. (Highmark Inc., however, says they are sticking with Penn State.) A rep for ESPN has not immediately responded for EW’s request for comment.

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