Why are there so many ads for gold-related businesses on Fox News?
January 20, 2010 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Why are there so many ads for gold-related businesses on Fox News?

I know that there was a minor kerfluffle about the Cash4Gold-type companies and their ads on FNC, but I also see ads there that I don't see on literally any other network. Why?
posted by squorch to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not just Fox News, it's the regular Fox network channel too, especially during their daytime programming (my husband gets a weird thrill out of watching Jerry and Maury so we often have that channel on during his days off). I always assumed they carry those commercials because those businesses target the desperate and the gullible, and that's a big section of Fox viewers.
posted by amyms at 7:05 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

In order to buy into those ads you need to be stupid or credulous or both, and coincidentally that is Fox News' target market.
posted by mhoye at 7:07 PM on January 20, 2010 [9 favorites]

Because advertisers know their audience. Sizable numbers of conservatives (especially libertarians) are very strongly committed to gold as a store of value, partly because of ideological antipathy towards government backed "fiat money", for one.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:08 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I suppose I should have worded it better - why aren't these ads on any other networks? Surely there are enough rubes to go around.
posted by squorch at 7:11 PM on January 20, 2010

Well, it's a good match for the doom-and-gloom hysterics on Fox. The "Obama Recession" is killing us, we must panic and buy guns and gold, revolt against paying taxes, and so on.

Also, Glenn Beck benefits in more direct ways from gold panic.
posted by rokusan at 7:19 PM on January 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

A lot of advertisers no longer want to appear on Beck's show and have pulled their advertising. Thus rates drop and the ad slots get filled by less reputable businesses, just like for late-night tv.
posted by GuyZero at 7:21 PM on January 20, 2010

Thanks for re-horrifying me about the bulk of the populace, rokusan! Hoorayyy stupid! (shouldn't have sold at $90!)
posted by Askr at 7:26 PM on January 20, 2010

In Canada these ads are on all networks so I don't see a correlation to political leaning; people of all stripes are concerned about personal cash flow. Mind you we don't have as many people concerned about the whole currency issue as there seem to be down South. In our case it's just a function of the economic situation.

Regarding there being more of these on Fox I would suspect that it has more to do with cheaper ad prices due to falling ad revenue.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:27 PM on January 20, 2010

It is likely a combination of the intelligent and skepticism (or lack thereof) inherent in the Fox News audience demographics and the lower ad rates someone else mentioned. It may not be cost effective to spread it to other networks when it works so well with Fox.

As someone in advertising/internet marketing I'd LOVE to see data on their site traffic/conversion rates as a result of these ads. I think it would make a fascinating case study.
posted by Elminster24 at 7:39 PM on January 20, 2010

In the last two years, in order to prevent deflation, the Fed has massively increased the money supply. There's also the exploding federal deficit.

A lot of people are worried about the potential for a huge currency realignment, and particularly about the possibility of the world refusing to continue to loan money to America at favorable rates. If that happens, the dollar could collapse, in a burst of inflation the like of which we've never seen in this country.

Some people think that holding their savings in gold will protect them against that. This view is more widely held by conservatives than by liberals, so companies trying to sell gold will advertise in venues which have a more conservative audience.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:59 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Part of it is a function of cost. Direct Response TV spots like that are done on bid/ask process. If Fox (or anyone really) can sell the spot for higher they will. As GuyZero points out several advertisers have baked out from Fox News so it can mean more bargain basement DRTV.

But I've heard some of the "gold as an investment" and "sell your gold" spots air on Sirius XM -- even the liberal channel and on some of their nationally syndicated content.
posted by birdherder at 8:00 PM on January 20, 2010

Perhaps Fox's recently (2007) launched Fox Business Network. Reading the Wikipedia entry on that page just makes me weep:
"Rupert Murdoch was quoted as saying CNBC is too "negative towards business". They promise to make Fox Business more "business friendly"
Since the market crash I imagine the viewership for cheerleader journalism is heavily cripping their ratings, and thus price. When you consider FBN's demographic is retirees who've probably lost a substantial sum in the crash (CNBC I hear has a number of institutional traders watching), FBN is a cost efficient way for Cash4Gold to reach the newly unwealthy. And as is mentioned, between the general advertising crash and advertisers pulling from specific TV personalities, there's likely some deep discounts to be had.

They're in such poor demand that they're on a higher cable tier than I subscribe to and have never seen their commercials, so I can't confirm my theory they're on FBN in a big way. It would not surprise me to hear that they're bundling advertising on FBN with spots on their other networks. Bundling happens all the time on networks that own more than one channel. That's why you'll see an occasional random ad for say Tampax on a late run of Adult Swim (yay Venture Bros.) in between a slew of Girls Gone Wild ads, to name an example from memory.

But other than that it comes down to demographics and price. Try an experiment and watch who advertises on 60 minutes.
posted by pwnguin at 8:20 PM on January 20, 2010

Per The Daily Show (clip): "Glenn Beck is paid by Goldline to drum up interest in gold, which increases value during times of fear; an emotion reinforced nightly on Fox by Glenn Beck."
posted by glibhamdreck at 8:25 PM on January 20, 2010 [6 favorites]

To be honest, there are tons of junk ads on all the daytime or low-rent cable channels. It's easy to see what you want to see in them: for instance, they run a lot of invisalign commercials on BBC America.
posted by smackfu at 9:23 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's another possible reason that hadn't been covered here yet, but it's late and I really need to catch up on sleep tonight. Maybe I'll remember to come back here tomorrow.

In a jargon-y nutshell: local ad dollars drying up and "cable avails".
posted by intermod at 9:26 PM on January 20, 2010

There was an article on this via Reddit late last year - is it not that Glen Beck shills for goldmark?
posted by mattoxic at 9:52 PM on January 20, 2010

The answer to your question is given by one of the gold advertisers in this story by Politico.

"The retailers have nearly saturated some Fox shows, particularly Beck’s ratings juggernaut, which this summer maintained a handful of gold advertisers – including Goldline, Rosland Capital, Superior Gold Group and Merit Financial.

“I could care less what people think of him,” Merit’s Epstein said of Beck. “We advertise on Fox because it makes the phone ring.”

Though Epstein’s firm has advertised on CNN, he said gold resonates more with Fox’s viewers “because it’s the angry white man audience - it’s the conservative audience. … They are distrustful of the government, of the regime.” "
posted by JackFlash at 9:54 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

I might add that these are the types of people that believe the only thing you can count on in a crisis are guns, ammo and gold. So there is an overlap with the NRA types. They also rail about the evils of "fiat money" and pine for the return of the gold standard. They are conspiracy types that believe that the government is lying about inflation in the Consumer Price Index and that gold is the only protection against it. In other words, your typical Fox News audience.
posted by JackFlash at 10:06 PM on January 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

For what it's WORTH, there are investors who make money buying gold just like any other commodity. And there is a lot of reason for people to want a financial system actually backed by a real commodity.

But yes, the scared and ignorant people on Fox are just a prime target for overpriced gold hawkers. Know your audience, and all that.
posted by carlh at 7:21 AM on January 21, 2010

we must panic and buy guns and gold

Wait, are we talking about the dozens of ads for selling your "old gold" for cash? Or investing in gold? Perhaps the two are feeding each other.

The consipiracy theorist in me thinks that the companies currently buying gold are fronts for the government(s) who want to stock up their hard currency reserves...
posted by jkaczor at 8:06 AM on January 21, 2010

Gold pays no dividend and its industrial uses are rare. The only reason to buy it is because you think you can trade it for more goods later. I call this bubble psychology and it seems easy to say there's a gold bubble. It's important to note that Goldine, the company cited above, does not advertise to buy gold jewelry, but instead advertises to sell gold coins. One can argue they're selling now because the high price won't last.

I always tell my guns and gold friends you can't eat bullets or ammo. The industrial uses of gold are all questionable; the predominant use is jewelry who's main purpose is to appear expensive.
posted by pwnguin at 3:02 PM on January 21, 2010

pardon me, pqnguin, but Gold pays no dividend? That's a bit narow of a dismissal. Its "market value" fluctuates by the minute. Buy low sell high and all that. I bought some gold back when it was around 900/ounce. Now it's around 1100/ounce. Not great but not bad. Of course if I bought some gold eight or nine years ago...

Anyway. It's obvious why Fox's terribly overpriced gold shillers sell. But it doesn't mean that gold itself wasn't a good investment a decade ago.
posted by carlh at 6:04 PM on January 21, 2010

"Assets of real value" (i.e. gold or gold backed securities) is a common meme among a lot of conservative/libertarian types. It's based on the belief that gold has inherent value, which I don't personally believe, but I guess you can't really argue the fact that it's been a common currency for most of recorded history.
posted by electroboy at 1:33 PM on January 22, 2010

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