PCC rejects complaints over Jan Moir Gately column

The press watchdog has rejected complaints that a Daily Mail column about the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately was intrusive, inaccurate and homophobic.

The Press Complaints Commission received a record 25,000 complaints over a piece by columnist Jan Moir about Gately’s death in October.

She had described the events leading up to the singer’s death from natural causes as “sleazy” and “less than respectable”.    

The PCC acknowledged that many complaints believed that there was an “underlying tone of negativity” about Gately’s homosexuality in the article but that “it was not possible to identify any direct uses of pejorative or prejudicial language”.

The PCC adds that although it was “uncomfortable with the tenor of the columnist’s remarks”, argument and debate “should not be constrained unnecessarily.”

PCC director Stephen Able says: “It would not be proportionate to rule against the columnist’s right to offer freely expressed views about something that was the focus of public attention,” he adds.

Moir’s column had led to thousands of complaints on Facebook and Twitter and led to advertising from brands such as National Express, BT Broadband, Marks & Spencer and Procter and Gamble being pulled from around the article.

Latest from Marketing Week

Get ready for Cannes 2018: Hot topics and what to see

Cannes Lions

With the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity kicking off in three days, here’s your run down of all the hot topics up for discussion at the first festival since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, Sir Martin Sorrell resigned from WPP and the #MeToo movement was born.

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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 customerservices@marketingweek.com

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