Austereo has stopped all advertising on 2DAY FM following a decision by major clients Telstra and Coles to withdraw for the station today following the prank that lead to the death of a British nurse.
In a Facebook message this morning, the Coles supermarket chain posted “We understand Australians are clearly angry and upset by what appear to be tragic consequences of the 2Day FM UK hospital prank. We have wanted to let you know we have instructed 2Day FM to remove all Coles group advertising from the station as soon as possible”.
Telstra has also announced that it has withdrawn its advertising from 2DAY FM until the investigation into the issue has concluded.
As this update is written, 14,282 people have posted their disgust over the tragedy on 2DAY FM’s Facebook page.
2DAY FM have posted a first and final comment on the matter stating “Chief Executive Officer Rhys Holleran has spoken with the presenters, they are both deeply shocked and at this time we have agreed that they not comment about the circumstances. SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy”.
At a media conference Holleran claims the network did not break any laws or rules. “We followed the procedure that we have within our company and we are satisfied that that procedure was met”. When asked to explain what that procedure was he responded “I am not going to go into details”.
Under clause 6.1 of the commercial radio code:
“A licensee must not broadcast the words of an identifiable person unless:
(a) that person has been informed in advance or a reasonable person would be aware that the words may be broadcast; or
(b) in the case of words which have been recorded without the knowledge of the person, that person has subsequently, but prior to the broadcast, expressed consent to the broadcast of the words.”
Based on rule 6.1 it is unclear how 2DAY FM could have possibly followed procedure.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead in her London home after being publicly ridiculed after putting the prank call from 2DAY FM jocks Mel Greig and Michael Christian through to the room where the Duchess of Cambridge was being cared for. Janintha believed the call was from The Queen and Prince Charles.
After 2DAY FM broadcast the call it went viral and made Jacintha the centre of a global backlash. The wife and mother of two took her life today.
2DAY FM has now taken Greig and Christian off the air. The Australian Communications and Media Authority will now investigate the matter.
2DAY FM was previously already found to have breached the decency provision when jock Kyle Sandilands called a female journalist a “fat slag” and “a piece of shit” on air. Sandilands was also behind the broadcast that out a 14-year old girl to air confessing to her mother that she had been raped.
If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide contact Lifeline 13 11 14, beyondblue 1300 22 46 36, or Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22.