Advertisers pull ads from '19 Kids and Counting'

TV remote. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
TV remote. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Los Angeles - Three companies have decided to remove ads from US cable network TLC's reality show "19 Kids and Counting," in a sign of waning support for the top-rated program about a large Christian family following reports that the eldest son had molested underage girls.

General Mills said it made its decision before TLC pulled episodes of the show on Friday.

Payless Shoesource and Choice Hotels International told Twitter followers on Tuesday that they would no longer back the show.

"We share your concerns and we have decided to remove our advertising from the show," Choice Hotels said in a response to a consumer who questioned the sponsorship on Twitter.

Walgreen Co, another of the show's advertisers, said on Facebook "we will continue to monitor the situation."

TLC, which is owned by Discovery Communications, said it had no comment on whether it would cancel the show after the advertisers decided to withdraw.

The network pulled all episodes after In Touch magazine last week published information that Josh Duggar, now 27, had molested several female minors when he was a teen.

Duggar issued an apology on Thursday acknowledging "wrongdoing," and quit his job at the Family Research Council, a Christian lobbying group. But he did not directly address the allegations.

The Duggar family has received support from several conservative voices, including US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. At the same time, several petitions circulated asking TLC to cancel the program.

The program, which has been on the air since 2008, is not currently in production.

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