Roast Busters fall out: Willie and JT off-air

Duo's RadioLive show will remain ad-free this week.

Nov 11: MediaWorks has pulled RadioLive hosts Willie Jackson and John Tamihere off air for the rest of the year.

Last week, following an interview with a friend of an alleged victim of the roast busters group which was widely seen as victim blaming, several brands including ANZ, The Mad Butcher, Vodafone, Telecom, AA Insurance and Yellow announced they would pull their advertising from the station.

TV3 is reporting Jeremy Parkinson will host the Willie and JT show today.

In a statement broadcast on the station, the duo said they will take the next few weeks to review what happened last week with the management and to agree what action needs to be taken.

MediaWorks Radio chief executive Belinda Mulgrew says the situation will be continue to be reviewed and MediaWorks in no way condones the actions of the so-called "Roast Busters" or any violence against women. 

The noon-3pm show on RadioLive will run without advertising for the rest of this week, as previously announced.  

RAW DATA: Click here to listen to Willie Jackson and John Tamihere's announcement.


Nov 8:  MediaWorks says Willie Jackson and John Tamihere remain on air but the show ran without advertising today and will for all of next week. 
 
Spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer says RadioLive will continue to cover the developing "roast busters" story as it is important. 
 
“However, in response to the strong emotional feeling around the situation, RadioLive has placed all non-news coverage under extra editorial scrutiny.”
 
Ms Lorimer says MediaWorks will not comment on clients' advertising campaigns as these details are commercially sensitive. 
 
Meanwhile an ad industry body is warning companies to ensure their ad placement does not affect their brand position. 
 
Association of New Zealand Advertisers chief executive Lindsay Mouat says advertising plays an important role in funding media and while advertisers will not be censors they must be comfortable that their messages are in an environment that does not damage their brand reputation.

“Recent decisions concerning talkback radio are similar to those made by advertisers regarding online media such as ask.fm.”

“As the media fragments, it is important that advertisers, and their agencies, ensure they give appropriate attention to the media environment as well as their advertised message.

EARLIER: Vodafone has followed suit and suspended all advertising from RadioLive. 

Vodafone acting head of external communications Emma Carter says in a statement:

“The issues raised by the “Roast Busters” case are of huge concern to us all at Vodafone including the way that social media has subsequently been exploited to expose and attack the victims.”

“We are network leaders in cyber safety and have developed many products and services to empower our customers to address these types of issues and, in particular, to equip young people with the tools they need to operate safely and confidently online.”

UPDATED: 11AM: Telecom’s external communications manager Holly Wilkinson says Telecom advertising is broadcast through MediaWorks "across a wide range of shows that our customers listen to – including the show hosted by Willie Jackson & John Tamihere.

“Following the recent ‘Roast Busters’ controversy and offensive comments made by hosts on the show, under our instruction, our media buying agency has taken action to remove all Telecom advertising from the Willie & JT Show."

EARLIER: ”Countdown and The Mad Butcher are the latest advertisers to pull out of RadioLive after the actions of hosts Willie Jackson and John Tamihere.

Earlier this week, the duo interviewed a friend of an alleged victim of the roast busters group, a move seen as victim blaming. Yesterday, guest commentator and NBR columnist Matthew Hooton stormed out of the show after a noisy on-air row.

Progressive Enterprises spokeswoman Kate Porter told NBR ONLINE comments from the supermarket had been misconstrued and it had been in the process of reviewing its advertising activity last night.

Ms Porter said this morning Countdown had completed its review and had withdrawn its advertising.

Mad Butcher chief executive Michael Morton says it has sent a letter to MediaWorks saying it will pull out of advertising on the Willie and JT show.

Mr Morton described the show’s actions as disappointing and inappropriate.

Last night, ANZ suspended its advertising. It posted an update saying it believes freedom of speech is an important part of the media but the mark has been overstepped.

Similarly, directories service Yellow says it has stopped its ads with RadioLive saying comments by the duo crossed the line.

Freeview has pulled its advertising from the Willie & JT show but will still advertise with MediaWorks. A spokesman told NBR ONLINE it has asked for its ads to be played on other shows. AA Insurance has also confirmed it has removed advertising from the show. 

Blogger Giovanni Tiso had written to more than 30 companies that advertised during the programme asking if they would continue their campaigns.

Open managing director Matt O’Sullivan says for advertisers pulling out of one station like RadioLive can be really expendable and marketers will probably move their money around the same network.

“A lot of New Zealand marketers have strong values so it doesn’t surprise me that they won’t condone this,” he says.

The online spreadsheet with the list of the advertisers' status can be seen here

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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