Mercedes-Benz USA last week celebrated a milestone in constructing its new Sandy Springs headquarters. While the building rises on a street recently renamed for the luxury automaker, the company was removing its brand name from ads on Fox News star Bill O’Reilly’s program amid his sexual harassment lawsuit scandal.
MBUSA is currently housed in temporary space in Dunwoody. The new headquarters at One Mercedes-Benz Drive—better known as the corner of Abernathy and Barfield roads—is scheduled to open in early 2018. On March 30, the construction crew celebrating the “topping out,” or installation of the final steel beam for the structure’s skeleton. The company marked the occasion with a lunch for the crew attended by MBUSA CEO Dietmar Exler, who was among those who signed the final beam before it was installed.
A few days later, MBUSA was among the first of a growing number of companies who said they are pulling advertising from “The O’Reilly Factor” after a New York Times story revealed that O’Reilly has settled several lawsuits alleging he harassed women who were coworkers or guests. O’Reilly has denied wrongdoing in public statements and said he agreed to lawsuit settlements only to spare his children from long legal battles.
Donna Boland, MBUSA manager of corporate communications, said in a written statement that the company’s “O’Reilly Factor” ad “has been reassigned in the midst of this controversy. The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
MBUSA continues to advertise on a variety of other news programs, Boland said, including the Fox News programs “Fox & Friends,” “Hannity,” “Special Report with Bret Baier” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”