News Of The World Phone Hacking - The Power Of Social Networks

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Herdy Ramanuj
on 7/7/11

The recent phone hacking scandal by the News of the World has resulted in some of their major advertisers to pull from the newspaper. They received a huge backlash from Twitter and Facebook users urging the advertisers and readers to abandon the newspaper. Major advertisers for the newspaper include Tesco, Ford, Renault and Sainsbury’s.

The backlash has come as a result that private investigators hacked the voicemail of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Apparently by intercepting the messages, it creates activity that could have affected police investigation, creating false hope that Milly was still alive and that she had been using her mobile phone. New reports have now been published that phones of the families of dead British servicemen killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and relatives of people who died in the 7/7 London bombings phones have been hacked.

Most companies on Tuesday said they were ‘considering their position’, pending the investigation into the phone hacking, however a number of high profile businesses changed their mind and announced that they would remove their adverts. The first advertiser to pull their adverts was Ford, and was quickly followed by others companies, which can be seen in the image. The Co-op in particular reversed its initial decision to carry on advertising, after pressure from its customers. Its statement said: ‘The Co-operative Group 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’.

The main internet campaign that occurred on both Facebook and Twitter, encouraged customers to contact the newspapers advertisers, challenging them to drop adverts. With the cost of a full page advert costing £61,000 per advert they are look set to lose a lot of advertising money each week, until the result of the investigation is found. Will News of the World ever be able to recover from this, despite any result of the investigation?

News Update 07/07/2011 - The answer to the above question: No.