Alan Jones shrugs off an advertiser boycott - is he right?

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 21 August 2019
Alan Jones

Radio broadcaster Alan Jones has shrugged off the growing list of advertisers withdrawing from his show, and one expert agrees the boycott has little impact.

Jones, speaking to Nine News, says advertisers who boycott him over comments that were condemned as misogynistic will be replaced. Nine is currently in the process of buying the remaining stake of Macquarie Media which owns 2GB.

“I’ve got no comment about the advertisers, they can make their own judgment if they go,” Jones told Nine News. “There will be others that take their place.”

So far big brands such as Bing Lee, Chemist Warehouse, Me Bank, Volkswagen Australia and Koala Mattress have vowed to not advertise on Jones’ morning breakfast show which has been leading the radio ratings in Sydney.

Koala took to Twitter to announce it severed ties with Alan Jones.

“We’re a significant buyer in the medium, and it’s something we should have done earlier,” the mattress brand said.

“Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances. 2GB time to wake up.”

The backlash against Jones, who is on his last warning at the radio station, began last week after he suggested Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock” down the throat of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her comments on climate change.

The push against Jones was given new life after the ABC’s Media Watch program aired audio from the same broadcast of the “sock” comment of Jones saying he hopes Morrison “gets tough” with Ardern with a few “backhanders”.

Despite brands pulling out of Jones’ show, one data expert, Lory Vecchio from InsightOut Data Solutions, says it’s “inconsequential”.

Vecchio looked at seven advertisers who had boycotted Jones to see how much they spend with the show. All recorded less than 1% of their total media budget within the radio program and one was spending “virtually nothing” with 2GB.

“It is actually really easy and inconsequential to make a stand against such a program,” he said in a LinkedIn post.

“Shifting such a small amount of money would have very little impact on the media outcome, but the upside from a PR point of view is massive.

“Especially given the average person on the street is oblivious to media budgets and network splits, so when they hear about a boycott, they immediately have warm feels towards that brand which may never have occurred with traditional advertising – the advertiser builds awareness without spending a cent on media.”

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