List of companies pulling NOTW advertising grows

A RAFT of companies are pulling advertising from the News of the World in the wake of phone-hacking allegations.

Yesterday a string of firms added their names to the list of brands trying to distance themselves from the besieged tabloid.

Energy company npower confirmed it had suspended advertising and said it would continue to review its options. Dixons and Specsavers also pulled out.

Virgin Media said it will not book any more adverts until the hacking has been investigated, but said it was too late to withdraw a promotional insert in this weekend’s magazine.

A spokesman said: “We advertise in a large range of publications. However, this does not mean we support or condone the views of those publications.

“However, after considering the exceptionally high levels of public concern on this serious matter, we have decided we will not be placing any advertising in the News of the World until we have further clarity on the details surrounding the investigation.

“We have also attempted to withdraw a promotional insert in this weekend’s magazine but have been told by NOTW it is not possible to do so as the supplements have already been packaged and sealed.”

The firms joined brands such as the Halifax bank, Virgin Holidays, the Co-operative Group, Vauxhall and Mitsubishi that have all put advertising with the newspaper on ice.

The Royal British Legion has also dropped the Sunday tabloid as its campaigning partner following new revelations that bereaved relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan may have had their phones hacked.

And charity Beatbullying suspended its anti-bullying campaigns with the newspaper while the claims are investigated.

Motor giant Ford was the first of a wave of companies to announce boycotts when it pulled the plug on Tuesday after allegations that the News of the World hacked murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone.

Advertisers felt forced to react after consumers voiced their revulsion on Twitter and Facebook.

The Co-operative Group issued a strongly worded statement, saying recent claims had been “met with revulsion by the vast majority of members”.

And Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors, branded the recent hacking allegations “unbelievable, unspeakable and despicable”.

In a sign that the Rupert Murdoch empire could be more widely affected, Mumsnet announced it was pulling a Sky promotion from its website.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s announced yesterday it would not advertise with the News of the World until the investigation has concluded.

Mobile phone company O2 also pulled its advertising from the paper, as did Boots — although it said an advert would appear in the paper’s pre-printed magazine this Sunday.

Supermarket giant Tesco stopped short of suspending its advertising in the newspaper.

A spokesman said: “We share the very wide concern of our customers about these allegations, and the great distress they have caused to the families involved.

“We believe the absolute priority now is for the allegations to be investigated thoroughly and properly.”

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