'The Bloke Has Had Too Many Chances': Alan Jones Sees Mass Advertiser Exodus
Two more advertisers have ceased working with 2GB and 4BC radio host Alan Jones, following his widely condemned comments about "shoving a sock down the throat of" New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Anytime Fitness and mattress company Koala have both pulled advertising from the show, with the latter issuing something of a mea culpa.
"Koala has cut ties with Alan Jones," a tweet from the company read.
"We're a significant buyer in the medium, and it's something we should have done earlier.
"Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances. [2GB], time to wake up."
A spokesperson for Koala said it spends "millions on radio advertising alone, so this isn't an insignificant decision to make, but one we feel is necessary." A more formally worded statement from the head of performance Phil O'Connor said the company "recognises the real, proven threat of climate change", and had donated more than $1 million to wildlife conservation initiatives for threatened species.
Just hours earlier, Anytime Fitness had announced it was pulling all advertising from 2GB and 4BC, with no future plans to resume.
"The comments made last week by Alan Jones regarding Jacinda Ardern do not represent our view or values," Anytime Fitness said.
ME Bank was the first brand to announce it had pulled advertising in the wake of Jones' comments, with the RSL Art Union, Mercedes-Benz, Big W and more following suit. Bunnings, which said it advertises on Macquarie Media's relevant gardening programs, said two ads which played during Jones' show were aired "incorrectly".
Social media-led activist group Sleeping Giants -- an anonymous group that has also led campaigns against Sky News -- is behind the charge in encouraging advertisers to pull out of Jones' show.
A spokesperson told 10 daily they are "ecstatic" with the results of the campaign so far but has no intention of slowing down yet.
"We are ecstatic that the response has been so immediate and that we are even seeing companies like Big W & Koala Mattress who don't have any current ads on Jones' show taking the lead and preemptively withdrawing," Sleeping Giants told 10 daily.
"However, this morning 55 new and current advertisers elected to allow their brand to be promoted next to the content on Jones' show, this demonstrates that there are companies out there that are knowingly or inadvertently aligning their brand with Alan Jones and his content....... we have a long way to go."
The mass exodus of advertisers appears to have the network spooked. Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate issued a public statement over the weekend, threatening to tear up the controversial broadcaster's contract if he continued to use "commentary of this nature".
"He indicated that he had apologised sincerely to Prime Minister Ardern for any offence given, and had certainly not intended to suggest any harm through his comments," Tate said on Saturday night.
"Notwithstanding his apologies, I have today discussed the matter with Alan and advised him that any recurrence of commentary of this nature will result in the termination of his contract."
Macquarie Media only re-signed Jones on a lucrative two-year contract in May following months of tense negotiations. At the time, Tate said everyone at the company was "delighted we will continue along for the ride with one of Australia's most outstanding performers".
This was despite Jones' history of offensive comments, including calling for former prime minister Julia Gillard to be "shoved in a chaff bag" and thrown into the sea, using the n-word when discussing the Liberal party spill, and being found by the radio authority to have incited the Cronulla riots in 2005.
Macquarie Media has been approached for comment.
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