The news is out that advertisers have returned to the Alan Jones radio breakfast program on 2GB. This, after they cut ties in protest over his cruel remarks about the recently deceased father of Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Reports confirm major sponsors such as Woolworths and Mercedes have declined to return to the station while others whose ads were used without approval have subsequently been withdrawn. The rest remain steadfast in their support of Jones and 2GB.
It's an interesting development as it would appear some sponsors' principles have a use-by-date of about three weeks from the date of purchase. It certainly brings into question the ethical responsibilities of media sponsors. Did they withdraw their adverts as a stand against the verbal abuse by Alan Jones, or because it would look good until the issue died down? The whole thing is starting to smell decidely off. And then there is another aspect to their support they might want to consider.
2GB, owned by Macquarie Radio Network, is Sydney's most influential station, but whether it deserves that mantle is questionable. Wikipedia and the station's own website throw up some rather illuminating facts - its programming is presented mostly by well known right wing shock jocks; they are all male; they are all Anglo-Saxon. There are no female talk back hosts on any of it's weekday programs. There are no presenters at all not from an Anglo-Celtic heritage on any of it's shows.
The station basically acts as a propaganda unit for one side of politics: the conservative. There's no balance at all, it panders to a narrow demographic that ironically is substantial in numbers - pensioners, wealthy retirees and the working class right wing.. The point is this: is it appropriate for advertisers to associate their names to a media organisation that not only misrepresents facts and deliberately slanders one side of politics, but also formats it's programming and its roster of presenters along the lines of gender and race?