Factbox: Murdoch advertisers get cold feet over hacking claims

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 06, 2011 6:48 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Car maker Ford and billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Holidays have suspended advertising in Britain's News of the World due to allegations of hacking by the newspaper while travel operators Thomson and First Choice are among a growing band of companies reviewing their policies.

Following are comments from major advertisers, many of them responding to a barrage of messages on Twitter from consumers calling for boycotts of News of the World and other UK titles belonging to Rupert Murdoch including The Sun and The Times.

EasyJet - "EasyJet understands the concerns raised by the public, including many of our own staff and passengers, about these serious and shocking claims. We will actively monitor the situation and await the outcome of any investigation."

Ford - "We are awaiting an outcome from the News of the World investigation and expect a speedy and decisive response. Pending this response we will be using alternative media within and outside News International Group instead of placing Ford advertising in the News of the World."

Halifax (Lloyds Banking Group) - "Our Marketing Director is considering our options regarding advertising in the News of the World."

Marks & Spencer - Company says it advertises in The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times but not News of the World: "It's something that we'll keep a close eye on to see how things develop. We're watching what's happening and following the developments. At this stage we do continue to advertise with them."

McDonald's - Says it has not advertised in the News of the World since 2010 and has no plans to do so. It will continue to advertise in The Sun.

Morrisons - "We won't be changing our advertising policy."

NPower - "We note the concerns which have arisen on the back of fresh allegations of phone hacking against the News of the World. We are currently reviewing our options."

Renault - "Renault acknowledges the concerns raised regarding the allegations of phone hacking by the News of the World. We can confirm that we have no media advertising planned with the News of the World."

J Sainsbury - "We advertise in hundreds of newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio stations. The views and practices of any of organizations that carry our advertising do not represent those of Sainsbury's. That said, it would be prudent to await the outcome of the investigation."

Royal Bank of Scotland - The lender and owner of insurer Direct Line declines to comment

T-Mobile UK - "We are currently reviewing our advertising position with News of the World, following the recent allegations, and await the outcome of the ongoing police investigation."

Tesco - "These latest allegations will cause huge distress to a family which has suffered enough. It's now a matter for the police; like everyone, we await the outcome of their investigation."

Thomas Cook - Says it has no advertising planned with News of the World at the moment.

TUI Travel - "Thomson and First Choice advertise from time to time with News of the World depending on what campaigns we have. We have no plans to advertise this week. Without wishing to prejudice any investigations in progress, we are reviewing the options, as is reasonable in such unusual circumstances.'

Vauxhall - Says has no plans to drop advertising: "As these are allegations, we will await the outcome of the police investigations."

Virgin Holidays - "We have reviewed what we had booked for this Sunday (adverts in the News of the World) and have decided not to go ahead with those bookings. We will review what we have booked for the future at a later date."

(Compiled by Paul Hoskins; reporting by Reuters bureau in London, Chicago, Paris and Frankfurt; editing by Georgina Prodhan)