Co-op and Virgin pull News of the World advertising

More travel brands have announced they are to pull advertising from News of The World in the light of allegations about hacking murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s mobile phone.

Despite initially saying it had no plans to pull advertising, The Co-operative Group has moved to suspend their activity with the troubled paper.

Virgin Holidays has also pulled advertising after Tui Travel – another brand that had indicated it would not withdraw its support from the tabloid – announced that it was “reviewing its options”.

In a revised statement, the Co-op 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 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.”

Having on Tuesday said it had no plans to change its advertising schedule Tui Travel, which owns the Thomson and First Choice brands, has altered its stance.

Although it does not go as far as other advertisers like Ford which has said it will pull advertising Tui has certainly hardened its stance as the Twitter campaign gathers pace and traditional media make more allegations.

Christian Cull, Tui Travel director of communications, said in a statement: “First Choice advertise from time to time with the News of the World depending on what campaigns we have. 

“We have no plans to advertise this week. Without wishing to prejudice any investigations in progress, we are reviewing the options, as is reasonable in such unusual circumstances.”

Virgin Holidays said: “We reviewed our plans yesterday in the light of emerging developments and decided to withdraw the very limited number of classified adverts we had booked for several of the Virgin Holidays brands for this Sunday.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation on a week by week basis and as this an ongoing investigation we cannot comment further.”

Travel brands including Butlins and easyJet have come under sustained pressure to review their commercial support of the News of The World in a Twitter campaign being waged under the hashtag #notw.

Butlins has also confirmed it will not be advertising in this weekend’s News of the world. A statement said: “We review all our sources of advertising regularly and we will not be advertising in the News of the World this weekend.”

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