Advertisers pull out after NZ radio controversy

Staff Writer
Willie & JT

A couple of days ago NZ RadioLive hosts Willie Jackson and co-host John Tamihere found themselves in hot water and needing to apologise over an interview they conducted with a friend of an alleged victim of the Roast Busters group.

Audio of the interview and more about the apology is here.

Now it is being reported in New Zealand that at least four companies have pulled ads from RadioLive.

ANZ, Yellow and Freeview have confirmed their cancellation with AA Insurance saying they might too.

A campaign from a NZ blogger has seen him contact around 30 companies who advertise on the Willie and JT Show, to ask them to pull their support of the station and the show.

ANZ said: "While having freedom of speech is an important part of a well functioning media, it comes with responsibilities. ANZ believes Radio Live has overstepped the mark and as a result is pulling its advertising until further notice.''

Yellow CEO Chris Armistead said: "We had a small portion of advertising with RadioLive as part of a broader radio campaign. In the current environment we have decided to withdraw our advertising from RadioLive for this campaign.''

Freeview GM Sam Irvine said: "It's not a viewpoint that's shared by Freeview as a brand so we will be asking that we have our ads on other shows.''

MediaWorks (the owners of RadioLive) have said: "We are not able to comment on clients' advertising campaigns as these details are commercially sensitive, but RadioLive would like to reiterate that we in no way condone the actions of the `Roast Busters' or any violence against women.

"We apologise unreservedly for any offence or distress caused to listeners, clients or others by Willie and JT's interview with Amy.''

Yesterday's show also saw a guest panelist, writer Matthew Hooten, walk out during his interview after being told to "shut your mouth or you'll be out of the studio". He then stormed out.

When Willie & JT came back after a break they revealed that Hooton had claimed, before the interview, that he was going to make a scene on-air.

Hear audio from the interview :-

Mediaworks have now come out saying:

"We would like to reiterate that we in no way condone the actions of the 'Roast Busters' or any violence against women. The 'Roast Busters' is an important developing news story and one that RadioLIVE will continue to cover.

"However, in response to the strong emotional feeling around the situation, RadioLIVE has placed all non-news coverage under extra editorial scrutiny.''

Willie & JT's show today was commercial free with the stations intention for the show to run without ads until the end of next week.

More in the NZ Herald.

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