2GB Suspends Ads On Alan Jones' Show In Wake Of Controversy Over Comments
October 8, 2012 at 3:41 AM (PT)
In the wake of a controversy involving MACQUARIE Talk 2GB/SYDNEY host ALAN JONES' comments about Prime Minister JULIA GILLARD's late father, the station has suspended all advertising on JONES' show.
A statement from MACQUARIE RADIO NETWORK Executive Chairman RUSSELL TATE said that while JONES' comments at a private function saying GILLARD's father "died of shame" because "he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament" were not made on 2GB, JONES has apologized and the campaign to get advertisers to drop their sponsorship of the show is "coming almost entirely from people who do not listen to ALAN JONES or 2GB at all – probably never have done and never will... they do not have the right... on the one hand (to) decide for our listeners who and what they are going to hear on the radio station they choose to listen to, and on the other hand (to) decide for Australian based companies which media outlets they will or won’t use to advertise their products and services. They do not have the right to interfere with freedom of choice and they do not have the right to attempt to censor – not ALAN JONES, not this radio network, not the people who choose to listen to it and not the companies who choose to advertise on it.
"What we are seeing here is 21st Century censorship, via cyber-bullying."
TATE said that the advertising suspension, which will last "until further notice," is being instituted "so that all of our advertisers are on an equal footing, can regroup and discuss with us the way forward and how we together deal with these attempts to damage great Australian businesses.... The decision obviously comes at a very significant short term cost to MRN. It is an insignificant price to pay for our audience to be able to listen to what they choose to listen to, and for Australian companies to advertise where they choose to advertise."
Several advertisers have announced that they are pulling ads or will not advertise on the show, although, as in the case of the RUSH LIMBAUGH controversy in AMERICA, some of the listed advertisers were not sponsors of the show. On his show MONDAY, JONES echoed TATE's characterization of the campaign leaders as "21st century cyber-bullies" and added, "If this is the new AUSTRALIA, then we are all at risk."