The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has pulled its advertising from Sydney radio station 2GB, joining the likes of Coles and others who have fled the commercial station following Alan Jones’ comments regarding New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Jones has seen a growing number of advertisers pull out since the 2GB presenter said on his morning radio program that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison should “shove a sock down her throat”.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Photo © Christie Brewster
Jones has since claimed to have written to Ardern to apologise for the words, which Morrison described as “way out of line”.
“We advertise across a number of platforms to reach diverse audiences,” the Sydney Symphony Orchestra said on Twitter in response to complaints. “We’ve been made aware that some of our ads were placed on 2GB Breakfast. In light of recent events, we have reviewed our ads with our agency and have removed our ads from the station.”
While some advertisers have dropped 2GB completely, others have simply distanced themselves from Jones’ show, but the Sydney Morning Herald reported that one source close to 2GB has claimed the financial damage from the boycott could reach $1 million. The campaign against Jones has been driven largely by the groups Sleeping Giants Oz and Mad F—-ing Witches, an online group founded “to highlight the appalling sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism in Australia,” who are – with a response from eBay this morning that the company does not advertise with 2GB – claiming 100 companies now boycotting the presenter.
This is not the first time Jones has come under fire for comments he has made on air – he was found to have breached the Commercial Radio Code of Practice for using a racial slur earlier this year. “The phrase used by Mr Jones has not been acceptable as part of everyday speech in Australia for some time and does not belong on our airwaves,” said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Lachlan at the time.
He also drew the ire of the arts industry last year when he called for the sacking of the Sydney Opera House’s chief executive Louise Herron in an on-air interview as a result of her stance against allowing advertising for The Everest horse race to be projected onto the Sydney Opera House’s sails.
Nor is it the first time Sydney Symphony Orchestra has pulled advertising from 2GB, the orchestra having joined the list of companies that suspended or terminated their support for Jones or the station in 2012 following his comments that then Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s late father had “died of shame”.