Coles is first major brand to withdraw from Today Network over nurse’s death

Commercial pressure is growing on Southern Cross Austereo with Coles the first major brand to pull its advertising from the Today Network over a prank call which has been linked to the suicide of a nurse in the UK.

coles facebook 2day fm

The superarket chain posted a message on its Facebook page telling customers that it has pulled all Coles group advertising. Other brands within the Coles group include Bi-Lo, Liquorland, Kmart, Officeworks and Target.

News emerged overnight that the nurse who put the prank call from Today FM presenters Michael ‘MC’ Christian and Mel Greig through to the hospital ward treating the Duchess of Cambridge for acute morning sickness appeared to have killed herself.

The duo made the call on Monday, doing impersonations of Prince Charles and The Queen and after being put through, tricking another nurse into sharing confidential information about the princess’ condition.

An organised boycott of advertisers would have serious consequences for the radio station which could be worse then those experienced in previous incidents involving the Kyle & Jackie O Show. In those cases, the focus of boycotts was the network’s Sydney station 2Day FM. But the Hot Summer 30 prank was aired across Southern Cross Austereo’s national Today Network, potentially dragging in Melbourne’s Fox FM, Adelaide’s SAFM, 92.9 in Perth and B105 in Brisbane, along with regional stations.

And since the furores over Sandiland’s lie detector scandal and attack on a News Limited journalist, campaigners have honed their techniques. A campaign to persuade advertisers to boycott the Alan Jones show on 2GB, which was driven via the platform was highly effective with many major brands still avoiding the program.

A petition started earlier today on calling for Christian and Greig to be dismissed has so far achieved more 4,000 signatories. However, there does not as yet appear to be a petition on the site specifically calling for an advertiser boycott.

Meanwhile the 2Day FM Facebook page has already attracted more than 12,000 comments on its statement regarding the tragedy.

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  1. yeah, yeah
    8 Dec 12
    2:25 pm

  2. and you’ll be back on 2Day FM in a week, once the heat’s died down. Nothing but shallow posturing.

  3. Nick
    8 Dec 12
    2:32 pm

  4. Coles pulled their ads last time as well. It’s all very disingenuous.

  5. Peter A
    8 Dec 12
    4:34 pm

  6. It would be a nice gesture for Coles and Telstra to donate their 2Day FM advertising spend, to Lifeline or Beyond Blue.

  7. Peter A
    8 Dec 12
    4:57 pm

  8. Now that 2Day FM has suspended all advertising indefinitely, it may be a nice gesture for all advertisers to donate at least some of their 2Day FM advertising spend to a relevant worthy cause, and possibly a fund for the family of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha.

  9. Steven Kho
    8 Dec 12
    6:05 pm

  10. It’s a sensible thing to do for Coles. Other advertiser should consider following suit as a matter of corporate social responsibilities. Maybe should consider a fund for the nurse’s children orphaned by these two idiots DJs. Michael Christian and Mel Greig – It’s not funny when you cause a lost of live and destroy the life of two children. You’re going to live with guilt for the rest of your life whenever you look at your blood stained hands and I would love to see how you’re going to face your own children, with the fully knowledge that you’re directly responsible for two kids losing their mother.

  11. Heath
    9 Dec 12
    3:31 pm

  12. Oh please….why do we have to be so politically correct? How many times have people on radio been doing prank calls? how is anyone meant to foresee someone committing suicide over a very small innocent act like a prank call. I mean please…
    They did nothing wrong, even prince Charles thought the act was funny (before they found out about her death)

    And making a fund for her family? you’ve got to be joking! What about all the other family’s who have had someone kill themselves, what makes this girl so special. Donating to a charity or cause its a more sensible option. (Not that coles should have withdrawn in the first place)

    The radio hosts feel bad enough as it is and everyone is making them feel 30 thousand times worse. Lets put this into perspective it was a prank call, something that happens day in day out.

  13. LB
    9 Dec 12
    5:24 pm

  14. This is BEYOND hypocritical by Coles. They pull advertising on this show, but continue to cripple Australian dairy farmers with their loss leading $1 per litre milk. The number of suicides this has caused is staggering, not to mention the decimation of the dairy industry as farmer after farmer has to leave their farm due to unsustainable farm gate prices.

    What say you, Coles?

  15. Dabug
    9 Dec 12
    11:11 pm

  16. Pulling ads after a tragedy is the new PR. you get mentioned on the news and all the slacktivists who don’t understand reason laud you with praise. Winning strategy.

  17. Holstein Heifer
    10 Dec 12
    12:54 pm

  18. LB, you’ve drawn the bow back so far I heard the bow string snap. Unless you are talking about cow suicide.

  19. Peter A
    11 Dec 12
    6:34 pm

  20. Good to see 2Day FM will be donating $500,000 to a benefit fund for the family of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha.