Bad news for 2DayFm radio’s parents, Australia’s Southern Cross Austereo continues as it has been reported by local press that major Aussie advertisers, Telstra and Coles have opted to pull out of advertising campaigns with the outlet pursuant to news of the tragic suicide of Kate Middleton nurse, Jacintha Saldanha and the wide condemnation of the media outlet for pulling off the ‘royal prank’ that led to the nurse’s demise.
Although the media outlet has gone on to defend the two dj’s,Mel Greig and Michael Christian responsible for the prank, saying that they have been mercilessly vilified and that no one could have reasonably expected anyone to have reacted to the prank to such extremes, the pair at present remain suspended until further notice. Suspended but hardly fired, despite wide calls from legions via twitter to indeed have the two personally held accountable for Jacinta Saldanha’s death.
With the news that major advertising partners have for the time being decided to err on boycotting the outlet as a show of sympathy for the victim of the disingenuous prank as well as heeding caution from an irate public, 2Dayfm’s owner’s Austereo have decided for the interim to pull off all of advertising of 2Day fm indefinitely.
Reports the sydneymorningherald: Other large companies, including Woolworths and Optus, were reportedly considering withdrawing their ads when the station made the decision to suspend advertising of its own accord.
Spokesperson Sandy Kaye said the decision meant no advertising would run on the station from Saturday afternoon, and confirmed this was as a result of discussions with the station’s commercial sponsors.
“They want to keep their advertisers happy and they just pulled the advertising, only on 2Day FM 104.1 in Sydney, at least until Monday, just to keep advertisers happy right now,” she said.
“They’re reassuring and speaking to advertisers but they’ve pulled them for the moment until they’ve cleared it all up with them.”
She said it was unlikely the advertising blackout would last beyond Monday, but added station management had been focused on the welfare of the two presenters who conducted the prank call.
Of course the offer to remove all advertising in the interim isn’t necessarily a gesture to win public sympathy and to be seen to be making a public atone for their indiscretions as the real reason as to why ads are being pulled may indeed be more mercenary:
Asked if the response was due fears of an avalanche of advertiser boycotts, Ms Kaye said: “I guess it probably is. They’re not words that have been given to me, but I guess that’s the understanding. The words that were given to me were ‘in order to keep advertisers happy’.”
Asked how much the advertising shutdown might cost the company, Ms Kaye said money was “not important right now … [the] focus is on all people concerned first and foremost”.
At present it is understood the prank has caused some to wonder out aloud whether the media outlet has breached or violated ethics and has acted with wanton disregard for individual’s right, reputation and privacy. At present the Australian Communications and Media Authority has declined to make any comments on the matter.