Mail Online removes ads from Jan Moir column following uproar

Mail Online has removed advertising adjacent to columnist Jan Moir’s article on the death of Stephen Gately, following a public backlash spurred by social media.

Her column, published today, has led to complaints across Facebook and Twitter that it’s homophobic and has prompted the creation of a Facebook page – “The Daily Mail should retract Jan Moir’s hateful, homophobic article” – which currently has over 1,400 members.

Additionally, JanMoir has become the most popular trending topic on Twitter. Stephen Fry has also used Twitter to complain about Moir’s article.

Advertising from brands such as National Express, BT Broadband, Marks & Spencer and Procter and Gamble has been pulled from around the article, which has so far generated more than 500 comments.

James Bromley, Mail Online MD, said the decision to remove the ads was taken by Mail Online.

“We removed the advertising within minutes of the article being published as we saw the strong reaction,” he said. “This is done frequently and by other newspapers. For example, we wouldn’t want a mobile phone ad next to an article about mobile phone masts.”

Reaction to the article has also caused the Press Complaints Commission’s (PCC) site to struggle under high traffic levels.

A PCC spokesman said, “We understand that it has not crashed but it has tremendously slowed traffic. This hasn’t happened before in terms of speed, but the number of complaints so far is not necessarily unprecedented. Stephen Fry has tweeted about it and he has more than 800,000 followers. If even 10% come on the site it will cause problems. We have also had internet-led co-ordinated complaints before but not with this level of reach. We are in the process of replying to all the concerns.”

The Daily Mail has issued a statement from Jan Moir which concludes, “In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones.”

Mail Online is the UK’s most popular online newspaper in the UK with 28.7m unique users.

This story first appeared on

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here