Alan Jones' sponsors continue exodus from 2GB

By By Amy Kellow | 3 October 2012

The mass exodus of 2GB advertisers has continued with major companies like McDonald's, Harvey Norman and Ford pulling their sponsorship, following Alan Jones' controversial remarks that Julia Gillard's father "died of shame".

Harvey Norman, McDonald's, 7-Eleven, Slater & Gordon, NRMA Insurance, Medibank, Ford Australia and Sydney Symphony are the latest sponsors to announce their suspension or termination of 2GB and/or Macquarie Radio Network advertising. Woolworths, Coles, Hyundai, Honda, Telstra and Foxtel have also ended ties with the station.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the loss of advertisers could be costing the network as much as $80,000 a day. It has been reported that a 30-second spot on Jones' program costs upwards of $500, with a live announcement costing in excess of $1000.

Change.org's 'Boycott 2GB' petition, which now has over 101,000 signatures, is urging consumers to contact remaining sponsors Volkswagen, 1 Cover Insurance and Roses Only to get them to end their sponsorship. The petition has provided links to the brands' respective Facebook pages.

However, iconic retailer Gerry Harvey told The Australian that despite having pulled advertising from Alan Jones' show, he will continue to advertise with the wider 2GB network.

Harvey also attributed the move to mounting public pressure: “We've pulled our ads, we haven't got any choice there's too big a groundswell of people out there saying to us 'if you advertise with him we won't buy from you'."

The past few days have seen a growing number of consumers denouncing brands including Harvey Norman for sticking with the show.

One consumer argued: "I won't be spending another cent in Harvey Norman while you still continue to support Alan Jones. I am astonished why you would want to be associated with such a vile, racist, mysoginist, bile spewing throwback to the 1950's."

The brand took to its Facebook page this morning to say: "Thanks to everyone who has commented on this page. We have read and heard your comments. The views expressed by Alan Jones are not supported by Harvey Norman. We do not condone his sentiments and Harvey Norman have no advertising running on his show."

Jones made the now infamous comments about prime minister Gillard's late father at Sydney University's recent Young Liberals' fundraising dinner.

Jones said: "The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame ... to think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for parliament."

Jones has since publicly apologised for the remarks. It is understood prime minister Gillard is refusing to speak with him.

While most have agreed Jones' comments were inappropriate, some have expressed the opinion that the strong reaction against him has been excessive. One source privately told AdNews that much of the reaction against Jones has been "equally as disgusting" as the actual comments made.

The speech was released on Sunday 30th September by a journalist who had recorded it.

Macquarie Radio Network declined to comment at the time of writing.

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