Philips Pulls Presidential Debate Sponsorship
Philips Electronics has dropped its sponsorship of the 2012 presidential debates, citing a desire not to associate itself with “partisan politics,” POLITICO has learned.
Philips is the third and by far the largest of the original ten sponsors to pull its support, following similar decisions by British advertising firm BBH New York and the YWCA over the last week. Their decision to do so is seen as the result of intense lobbying efforts by advocacy organizations — primarily Libertarian supporters of former Gov. Gary Johnson — who oppose the exclusion of third-party candidates and who therefore believe the Commission on Presidential Debates is an anti-Democratic institution.
Mark A. Stephenson, the head of corporate communications at Philips North America, told POLITICO that the company doesn’t want to provide “even the slightest appearance of supporting partisan politics.”