Reports: Nissan set to quit Footy Show sponsorship over Sam Newman’s remarks

Car maker Nissan is reportedly preparing to quit its sponsorship of the Channel Nine Footy Show, following controversial remarks made last week by host Sam Newman.

According to The Age, Nissan has told Nine the comments do not align with its “core values” and is set to terminate its sponsorship deal of The Footy Show at the end of the 2016 AFL season after Newman, last week, launched a tirade defending his friend and cohost Eddie McGuire over remarks he had made about drowning sports journalist Caroline Wilson.

The newspaper claims senior Nissan executives and Nine management, including Melbourne sales director Matt Scriven, met at the car giant’s Dandenong headquarters on Thursday.

Fairfax claims Nissan was particularly unhappy with Newman’s remarks accusing Wilson of “feigning indignation” over the drowning remarks and making comments about her being able to “talk under water” .

“If you want to be treated equally don’t complain when it’s too equal,” he said, before adding “Now finally the jig is up, Caro, honestly and truly you are becoming an embarrassment and even if you were under water you would still be talking.”

Newman’s remarks were met with applause from the Footy Show audience but James Brayshaw, who was part of the original Triple M broadcast, then piped, in saying: “You are absolutely entitled to your point of view, Sam, but I don’t agree, especially with that last bit.”

Newman then responded: “What? If you are under water? People can still talk under water, Jim. Don’t take that to another level. You’ve heard the phrase ‘you can talk under water’ and she talks plenty.”

Newsman’s remarks only added fuel to the media firestorm which had been sparked days earlier after audio of McGuire and other senior AFL figures emerged of them at the Big Freeze fundraiser where they joked on-air that people would pay to see The Age’s Caroline Wilson dunked in cold water.

McGuire, centre, also presents Triple M's Hot Breakfast in Melbourne

McGuire, centre, also presents Triple M’s Hot Breakfast in Melbourne

“I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year featuring Caroline Wilson and I’ll put in 10 grand straight away – make it 20. And if she stays under – 50. What do you reckon guys?,” said McGuire.

McGuire was about to go through the ice slide himself and brought in fellow Triple M host James Brayshaw and former St Kilda captain Danny Frawley, with the latter responding: “I’ll actually jump in and make sure she doesn’t [come up] … I’ll hold her under, Ed.”

McGuire, Brayshaw and TripleM have all now issued apologies, with the radio station yesterday backflipping on previous statements that no action was required and ordering all on-air talent to undergo training from domestic violence charity White Ribbon. 

Fairfax Media is quoting Nine boss Ian Paterson, who noted Nissan was one of three major partners of The Footy Show.

“All of our partnerships are based on a year-to-year commitment and on that basis we’ll sit down with all our partners at the end of the year to review 2016 and discuss 2017,” he said.

The newspaper is quoting “Nissan sources” as saying the contract won’t be renewed. Nissan has declined to comment.

Read the full story on The Age.


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