The list of sponsors pulling out of broadcaster Alan Jones’s radio program following his comments about the prime minister’s father is growing, with Honda Australia and Hyundai withdrawing their advertisements today.
The veteran broadcaster has admitted he was wrong to use a speech to a Sydney University Liberal Club fundraiser to declare John Gillard had died of “shame” last month because of Ms Gillard’s “lies”.
Jones repeated his weekend apology to Ms Gillard on his 2GB breakfast show today.
He said his apology was unqualified and should not be linked to comments he made on the weekend expressing his dislike of the Gillard government.
“I am sorry for what I said. It is more than regret, I am genuinely sorry for the remark. I didn’t think the comment would be reported, it was made thoughtlessly and off the cuff,” he said.
But his apologies have not stemmed the loss of advertisers and sponsors, including major firms, which have made it clear they want to distance themselves from Jones’ comments.
On Monday the list of sponsors who cancelled their support for Jones included Coles, Woolworths, Mercedes-Benz, ING Direct, Dilmah Tea, Bing Lee, Freedom Furniture and the finance management firm Challenger.
Honda Australia announced today it had instructed that all its advertising cease on 2GB and Hyundai said it was withdrawing ads from Jones’ show.
The Australian International Motor Show has also withdrawn its advertising from Jones’s show.
Volvo Car Australia said it was carefully considering any potential future advertising on 2GB.
Three regional radio stations have also announced they will no longer run Jones’ show.
Today Jones took call after call from listeners with messages of support, some calling him their “hero” and expressing their anger against his critics.
One caller said Jones should not have to keep apologising just for using colourful language.
Macquarie Radio was down four cents, or 6.25 per cent, at 60 cents.