Akon update: Verizon pulls the plug Updated

posted at 2:00 pm on May 4, 2007 by Bryan

Just got word from Michelle, who just spoke with Verizon–its association with rapper Akon has been terminated.

Thank you, readers. Thank you, Laura Ingraham listeners. Thank you, Verizon Wireless:

Verizon decided this week to end its support and sponsorship of Akon.

Jim Gerace

Vice President, Corporate Communications
Verizon Wireless
One Verizon Way
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

First Virgin Atlantic, now Verizon: Twice in one week, you helped make a difference. Thank you.

Update: Verizon has pulled Akon’s ringtones from its website, but it’s still sponsoring the Gwen Stefani “Sweet Escape” Tour–and that tour features Akon as one of the opening acts. So the story here isn’t quite over yet.

Update: The story is over. Verizon has ceased all sponsorship of Akon, including the tour. Good call.

Email from Verizon:

Michelle:

I just want to make sure you and your readers are clear on our Akon sponsorship. I saw the post from a reader that we are sponsoring the Gwen Stefani tour with Akon as opening act. We are no longer — that was the decision we made this week. If the reader is seeing a poster or something promoting our sponsorship of the tour, it’s only because that material has not yet been destroyed.

Jim Gerace

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

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Awesome!

Drtuddle on May 4, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Whoo- Hoo!

Keep up the good fight, MM and ALL!

Tru2my2 on May 4, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Pwn3d!

Bad Candy on May 4, 2007 at 2:06 PM

I’d like to see Verizon make a BIG announcement about this.

Will they?

Tru2my2 on May 4, 2007 at 2:07 PM

Hotair: 2 Idiots: 0.

amerpundit on May 4, 2007 at 2:09 PM

As a card carrying member of the VRWC, jack-booted, arm-banded, Mauser loving, 13mpg planet hater I say…….SCORE!

Limerick on May 4, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Ok, now everyone call The View and . . . oh, nm

- The Cat

MirCat on May 4, 2007 at 2:13 PM

i’m still wondering when Jackson or some other group is going to call us all racists; its almost like clock work

Defector01 on May 4, 2007 at 2:14 PM

I don’t see him on Verizon’s site anymore.

amerpundit on May 4, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Except when you search for his name.

amerpundit on May 4, 2007 at 2:16 PM

Don’t worry … the race card will be pulled out soon, as well as any other excuse Akorn can find. It will all eventually be blamed on “uptight whitey”, slavery, class warfare, religion and “hatred for brown people”. He’ll continue to make money as he’s now a martyr, silenced by the hand of the evil conservatives.

darwin on May 4, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Guess who’s going to be on Odormann’s “Worst” list?

kevcad on May 4, 2007 at 2:29 PM

I’m a 10-year+ Verizon customer. I e-mailed them my feelings and opinions on this whole stupid affair. I told them I was unhappy with their relationship with Akorn, or Apron, or whatever, and I got a ‘form letter’ back saying they appreciated my e-mail and I’d be e-mailed back “soon”. I never got a response.

I was literally shopping new cell service providers inbetween sites I’ve been surfing this morning so I could tell Verizon to shove off since my most recent 2-yr contract with Verizon ended 10 months ago anyway, and I never heard back from their automated lip service.

I guess I’ll stay with Verizon now and maybe I’ll upgrade my phone instead, too. Although, a new contract isn’t all that appealing :/

…lucky them

SilverStar830 on May 4, 2007 at 2:36 PM

His ringtones are still there:

http://getitnow.vzwshop.com/index.aspx?id=music_ringtone_browse_vzwtones&ringToneSearchText=akon&ringToneSearchType=3&ringToneType=1&artist=akon

Maybe it takes time for them to be yanked off of the actual website. Good on verizon if they completely yank him off.

Highrise on May 4, 2007 at 2:37 PM

hmm..his ring tones are still there, maybe it takes time to update the website though.

Highrise on May 4, 2007 at 2:38 PM

This is downright cool.

PRCalDude on May 4, 2007 at 2:39 PM

Highrise, my guess is they just cancelled the sponsored tour, but I could be wrong.

Bad Candy on May 4, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Or maybe they’re dropping everything. We’ll see.

Bad Candy on May 4, 2007 at 2:42 PM

Verizon decided this week to end its support and sponsorship of Akon.

We need to wait to see if they yank the tunes off their website, if not, time to write again. Support is support.

Highrise on May 4, 2007 at 2:45 PM

Verizon Wireless ringtones.

http://ringbacktones.vzw.com/index.jsp?category=hot

#1 on the VZW hotlist.

I just canceled my Verizon Wireless contract a week ago. So not sure if you can still buy it. (You can still listen to the preview however.

F15Mech on May 4, 2007 at 2:45 PM

WOW. The power of the internet just grew a little more.
.
Now, if we could just enforce our existing laws….

shooter on May 4, 2007 at 2:50 PM

How long until Akon includes Michelle in one of his new songs, a la Ludacris with Bill O’Reilly and the Pepsi campaign…

JetBoy on May 4, 2007 at 2:50 PM

Let’s hope for a threefer and get Islam vs. Islamists on the air.

Kevin M on May 4, 2007 at 2:53 PM

Michelle, you magnificent Firecracker!

RushBaby on May 4, 2007 at 2:56 PM

Great! I know my 9 year old granddaughter listens to him on the radio, and I know my daughter is unaware of how wretched this guy really is.

CrimsonFisted on May 4, 2007 at 3:01 PM

Now, if we could just enforce our existing laws….

shooter on May 4, 2007 at 2:50 PM

Exactly….

Still cool though.

unamused on May 4, 2007 at 3:12 PM

Cingular also sells his ringtones, however he is not a featured artist.

F15Mech on May 4, 2007 at 3:13 PM

Bryan… I love ya man !! But please don’t use politically correct phrases like “make a difference.” I would like to remind everyone that you can fart and “make a difference.” As conservatives we should use more substantive and rational phrases like… “make a change for the better.”

Maxx on May 4, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Let’s give Verizon the benefit of the doubt here. They may not be able to back out of the Stefani contacts easily. Hopefully they will preessure the promoters to get rid of Akon but if they aren’t succesful it may not be thier fault.

conservativecaveman on May 4, 2007 at 3:19 PM

Maxx,

Good point. Let’s get away from “make a difference” to “make an improvement”.

-Fat Old Guy

Fogpig on May 4, 2007 at 3:21 PM

Malkin says Akon’s been totally dropped. Tour too, they;re still clearing info.

Bad Candy on May 4, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Maggot.

Jaibones on May 4, 2007 at 3:45 PM

Ah, there we go, bryan just updated, see, total win.

Bad Candy on May 4, 2007 at 3:53 PM

One down. Many, many, many to go. Michelle can you get rid of Snoops corporate sposorship next? I would greatly appreciate it.

Theworldisnotenough on May 4, 2007 at 3:57 PM

Good for Verizon Wireless.

If only they would listen to their customers and not disable the USB/flash memory/limit obdx on their phones I would not have switched to Cingular last week.

BTW you can get Akon ringtones on Cingular, however he is not a featured artist.

F15Mech on May 4, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Awesome.

tdau1997 on May 4, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Next question: Who else is sponsoring Gwen’s tour?

Canadian Infidel on May 4, 2007 at 4:06 PM

As a card carrying member of the VRWC, jack-booted, arm-banded, Mauser loving, 13mpg planet hater I say…….SCORE!

Limerick on May 4, 2007 at 2:11 PM

Hisssss….a real American would have an M1.

ScottG on May 4, 2007 at 4:07 PM

Thingys are looking up.

Griz on May 4, 2007 at 4:20 PM

Score another one for the good guys (that would those of us on the right side of the political spectrum). Wow two in one week and no more Rosie to boot. Still lots to be done but I for one will be celebrating tonight with some fine whiskey.

oilbertan on May 4, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Who else is sponsoring Akon, or the Gwen Staffani tour?

amerpundit on May 4, 2007 at 4:26 PM

By the way, can you say MAINSTREAM?

amerpundit on May 4, 2007 at 4:27 PM

And Fox isn’t the only one covering the dropping.

amerpundit on May 4, 2007 at 4:30 PM

Good for them. Good for Michelle.

Well done, all the way around, I’m thinking.

yo on May 4, 2007 at 4:45 PM

Who was it who posted the Verizon Executive Offices phone number on one of the threads? That worked great, real people answered and were very polite and helpful (a lot more satisfying than the website email boilerplate). If you could post it again, it’d be nice to call Verizon back and thank them.

As for dropping Akon or anyone else who has the ability to make Verizon’s clients cringe and spit whenever they see VERIZON, don’t companies usually have a clause that enables the contracting party to cancel a sponsorship if the celebrity idiotically does anything that deingrates the company? They signed the contract for the purpose of bringing in business, not scare it away. If any court needs proof, Verizon must have thousands of recordings of customers who specifically said, “If you want to be associated with Akon, we don’t want to be associated with you. Choose.”

naliaka on May 4, 2007 at 4:45 PM

Can you hear us now?

Drtuddle on May 4, 2007 at 5:16 PM

My daughter and I have tickets to the Gwen Stephani concert in Honolulu come August. If Akon is still on the bill, we are not going. I’m planning to contact the local concert hall and Gwen Stephani’s management company. Does anyone know how to contact the management company? Any email addresses?

Mahalo.

lefaucheur on May 4, 2007 at 5:27 PM

And Fox isn’t the only one covering the dropping.

amerpundit on May 4, 2007 at 4:30 PM

I find it interesting that this is included in the article at WND.

His record label operates in partnership with Interscope Records, a U.S. company owned by Universal and and UMG’s Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group, a giant in the entertainment industry.

David Geffen, one of the largest music magnates int he world, was a major political contributor to Bill Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama

Here

News2Use on May 4, 2007 at 5:33 PM

::RIiiiiing.::

::RIiiiiiiiiiing.::

Um…VERIZON? Um…hello…This is your Bottom Line calling.

Get a moral compass or I’m OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!!

::CLICK::

seejanemom on May 4, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Wow. My hat is off to everyone involved with shaming Verizon out of the pimp business. Here I am banging the apathy drum on an associated thread while involved citizens are doing the dirty work. Congrats and thanks.

nico on May 4, 2007 at 6:37 PM

Maxx on May 4, 2007 at 3:14 PM

HAHAHA

Pardon me, but I need to go make a difference.

That’s funny.

csdeven on May 4, 2007 at 6:49 PM

HotAir FTW!

Can we get back to work on the bank of america now?

TexasDan on May 4, 2007 at 6:55 PM

“I’d like to see Verizon make a BIG announcement about this.

Will they?”

Tru2my2 on May 4, 2007 at 2:07 PM

If they didn’t have any sense of what they were doing by sponsoring creeps like this one (and what about the rest?) then they wouldn’t have a clue about using something like this as positive publicity.

Besides, how do you turn something foul that you did into positive publicity?

“Back in April, we sponsored an ignorant foul-mouthed gangsta rapper who faux molested girls and women onstage as part of his act. Today, we are proud to announce that we no longer sponsor the guy…”

Kind of like the “when did you stop beating your wife” question.

Never liked Verizon’s bidness practices anyway.

T-Mobile rocks.

.

The Machine on May 4, 2007 at 7:28 PM

Now, how can we do the same thing to get Bush and his cronies to secure the border and keep this country intact!

Mellen on May 4, 2007 at 9:06 PM

This is a big win, congratulation Michelle and all the culture warriors at HotAir !! The world just got a little bit better.

Maxx on May 4, 2007 at 9:23 PM

I am thinking that Verizon was blindsided by this whole thing…the “artists” are packaged as, well, not wholesome, per se, but as genuine to their roots and the particular community they claim to represent. I deal all the time with parents who allow their teenagers listen to this sort of thing, and when asked why they do, they don’t seem to realize how bad it truly is–and I’m talking middle class suburban kids who wouldn’t know a ghetto until they stumbled into it and were mugged. Of course, there are parents who don’t see anything wrong with it, just as my kids listened to the Beatles when they were in high school and so do I.

It does seem as if Verizon did not do its homework on this one, and I expect that other corporations will watch what has happened very carefully. People like us are not ever again going to be content to just sit by and watch our culture slip into the gutter–at least not without protest. And we are a huge crowd with loads of buying power. Smart companies will began to realize they should be courting us, not offending us. And when society ceases to accept that what these “artists” do as acceptable, it will stop making money. It’ll take a while, but hopefully it will happen.

Bob's Kid on May 4, 2007 at 10:11 PM

Not many of us conservatives with backbones, nowadays.

But thankfully we have a few: Michelle and Laura.

petefrt on May 4, 2007 at 11:40 PM

I am happy that Verizon pulled the plug, but I am still troubled by some nagging suspicions that just won’t go away.

Do you suppose that if we skinned Akon alive, we would find AllahPundit’s humping robot underneath? Okay, so I apologize.

(Can’t…control…these…aberrant…thoughts.)

CyberCipher on May 5, 2007 at 12:43 AM

CyberCipher… aberrant, yes. But a funny aberrant. I’m picturing the robot looking back over his shoulder with an expression that says, “Dang! They’re on to me!”

Congrats to Michelle, HotAir, Laura Ingraham, and everyone else who got this thug canned. Now how ’bout them charges? Can’t wait to see this guy in jail (again).

insomni on May 5, 2007 at 2:10 AM

Drtuddle: “Can you hear us now?”

How very appropriate! And accurate.

georgej on May 5, 2007 at 2:16 AM

***Loud cheer***

Aylios on May 5, 2007 at 7:14 AM

Wow. My hat is off to everyone involved with shaming Verizon out of the pimp business.

nico on May 4, 2007 at 6:37 PM

Great line nico! That ought to be a tagline of some sort:

“The Blogosphere: Shaming Corporate America out of the Pimping Business.”

RD on May 5, 2007 at 9:32 AM

Great job Michelle, Debbie, Laura and bloggers! Now on to who else sponsors this POS and those like him.

Neocon Peg on May 5, 2007 at 10:49 AM

Ultimately, Acorn will probably get a pass because of his “religion” but I’m thrilled the good guys won one. Next time my cell contract is up, I’m going to consider Verision

rahjr2k on May 5, 2007 at 3:10 PM

Too bad Akon wasn’t in Australia. An Imam there would tell him it’s the girl’s fault for not covering her meat.

Black Adam on May 5, 2007 at 3:37 PM