Advertisers return to Jones - but major companies stay away

Alan Jones ... some advertisers have returned to his show.
Alan Jones ... some advertisers have returned to his show.

Broadcaster Alan Jones's show again has advertisers, and it appears major companies which boycotted his program over controversial comments about the prime minister's late father have chosen to stay away.

But campaigners who led the advertising boycott have vowed to continue putting pressure on 2GB.

Jones did not have anything to say about the return of sponsors, instead opening his show this morning by calling for employers to help find a job for a 28-year-old visually impaired listener.

Advertisers included Dee Why Grand shopping centre, the Website Marketing Group, weight loss supplement Fat Away, Naturebee, Metro Energy Group, Angas Securities, Suzuki, Premier Cabs and Masterton Homes.

Western Sydney business West End Mazda, which said it withdrew its advertising despite the "very high" cost on October 3, had an ad spot after the 6.30am news.

More than a dozen major sponsors including Woolworths, Coles, Mercedes-Benz and ING Direct cancelled or suspended advertising on his program - estimated to make about $2 million a month for the radio network - by last Tuesday. Their adverts did not appear again this morning.

Their boycott was the result of a huge online campaign calling on companies to withdraw their support after the broadcaster's comments at a Young Liberals function last month that Prime Minister Julia Gillard's father had "died of shame" because of her "lies".

Jones apologised for his comments in a public press conference and on-air, but called his critics "jealous" and labelled the campaign "cyberbullying", claiming many small businesses had been inundated with abusive calls and emails.

On October 7 2GB announced it would suspend the remaining ads of sponsors who had stuck by the program, prompted by the "nature, tone and volume" of reaction to Jones's remarks.

One advertiser reportedly received 6000 emails in a single day calling for them to pull their advertising.

A petition hosted on the website, calling for 2GB and its advertisers to stop their association with Jones, has attracted more than 115,000 supporters.

A "Destroy the Joint" Facebook page, which gets its title from comments Jones made about female politicians, has more than 18,000 "likes". The page includes a pledge to stop discrimination, sexism and violence for a more respectful Australia.

The Destroy the Joint campaigners last night said they would press on.

"Our community politely requested that Macquarie Radio Network and its employees sign our pledge to stop sexism and misogyny. They have ignored our repeated requests.

"But now we know that Macquarie Radio Network no longer cares about community standards. So it is up to us to let advertisers know what the Australian community accepts."

This story Advertisers return to Jones - but major companies stay away first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.