Virgin, Halifax and Co-op join NoW ads boycott

An advertisers’ boycott of the News of the World was today growing in strength with Halifax bank, Virgin Holidays and the Co-operative Group all pulling ads from this weekend’s edition of the paper.

Motor giant Ford said yesterday it was suspending its advertising in the Sunday paper amid anger about the phone-hacking scandal.

A spokeswoman for Halifax parent company Lloyds Banking Group said: “In recognising and responding to consumer reaction, Halifax has cancelled an advertisement in this Sunday’s News of the World.

“This was a tactical decision in the short term whilst we carefully consider our longer-term position and its implications.”

Virgin Holidays said it would not be taking up the small number of classified advertising slots it had in this Sunday’s News of the World.

A spokesman said: “We will continue to monitor the situation on a week-by-week basis.”

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said this week that police had told him he might have been a victim of phone hacking by people working for the News of the World.

Car maker Vauxhall also announced it had stopped placing adverts in the paper.

A spokeswoman said: “Vauxhall has suspended advertising in the News of the World.

“It will reconsider its position pending the outcome of investigations into the allegations of phone hacking.”

The Co-operative Group said that it has taken the decision to “suspend temporarily any further advertising and promotional activity with the News of the World until the outcome of the investigation is known”.

It said: “The Group is a consumer-owned business which adheres to strong ethical standards. These allegations have been met with revulsion by the vast majority of members who have contacted us.

“We would urge everyone involved to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion for the sake of all those who are affected by these events.”

UPDATE: 6/7/11 3.08pm: Butlins has confirmed it has pulled advertising from the News of the World. A spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We review all our sources of advertising regularly and we will not be advertising in NoW this weekend.”

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