Advertisers desert shock jock’s show over Ardern comments

 

BIG-name advertisers are turning their backs on shock jock Alan Jones amid widespread condemnation over his "appalling" comments about New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern.

The controversy began last Thursday, when the 2GB host attacked Ms Ardern on-air after she criticised Australia's climate change policies.

The 78-year-old unleashed an extraordinary spray in response, labelling the respected leader a "complete clown".

"She's a clown, Jacinda Ardern; a complete clown,'' Mr Jones said.

"I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat.''

Radio broadcaster Alan Jones has caused outrage over his latest comments directed at New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Ben Rushton/AAP
Radio broadcaster Alan Jones has caused outrage over his latest comments directed at New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Ben Rushton/AAP

He went on to describe her as "a swallower" of the climate change "hoax" and a "joke".

"She is a joke, this woman; an absolute and utter lightweight," he said on social media.

Within hours, Mr Jones faced an onslaught of criticism from Aussies and international leaders alike.

Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was one of the first to slam Mr Jones on Twitter.

"The people of the Pacific, forced to abandon their homes due to climate change, don't have that luxury," he tweeted.

"Try saying that to a Tuvaluan child pleading for help."

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also weighed in, posting: "Jones should also apologise to @jacindaardern for his latest misogynistic rant."

Since then, a slew of companies - including Anytime Fitness, Snooze, Koala and ME Bank - have revealed they are pulling their ads from Mr Jones' show.

In a tweet, Koala mattresses told 2GB it was "time to wake up".

"Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances," Koala wrote in a pointed reference to Jones's reactionary views.

 

 

This morning, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also weighed into the debate, but defended Mr Jones on ABC's News Breakfast.

When host Michael Rowland asked whether it was time for Mr Jones to be taken off the airwaves as a result of his "repeated violent language towards women, particularly women in power", Mr Frydenberg said: "Those comments were clearly inappropriate … but I do want to acknowledge Alan Jones is also a mainstay of our media."

Mr Frydenberg's failure to fully condemn Mr Jones angered many viewers.

Mr Jones has previously sparked outrage by suggesting former prime minister Julia Gillard should be "put into a chaff bag and thrown into the sea'', and saying her recently-deceased father had "died of shame".

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has brushed off the comments. Picture: Nick Perry/AP Photo
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has brushed off the comments. Picture: Nick Perry/AP Photo

In 2016, Mark Latham appeared on Mr Jones' show to criticise anti-violence campaigner Rosie Batty, and in 2017 Mr Jones published a tweet which many interpreted as a joke about the lynching of Sydney mayor Clover Moore.

Later that year, he also warned NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian that her head was "in a noose" over a state government mining policy.

Mr Jones has apologised over his comments, but they have prompted many members of the public to point out the commentator's previous track record of concerning and potentially violent comments about women.

 

The backlash has caused a mass exodus of advertisers from Mr Jones' show, with household names such as ME Bank, Snooze, Bing Lee and Amart all pulling their ads as a result.

Macquarie Media chairman Russell Tate has also publicly warned Mr Jones will be sacked if he makes similar comments in future.

2GB is owned by Macquarie Media, which Nine had a majority stake it.

Macquarie Media recently re-signed Jones on a multimillion-dollar contract for a further two years.

Meanwhile, Ms Ardern has brushed off the offensive remarks.

"I don't know that I'm going to give that the light of day, that comment. I think I'll just leave it where it is," she said.

 


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