Tweet campaign may have led to Co-op NOTW u-turn

The Co-operative has topped a list of brands that have been called on to boycott advertising in the News of the World, a title that could have contributed to its u-turn on advertising with the Sunday tabloid.

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The Group has received 6,006 tweets from consumers – more than any other News of the World advertiser – pressuring the brand to cancel its advertising account with the paper, according to Blue Rubicon.

The Co-operative originally said it was to continue advertising with the News of the World, but in a dramatic u-turn today, the Group said it had taken the decision to “suspend temporarily any further advertising and promotional activity” with the newspaper.

The pressure now turns to brands such as easyJet, which has yet to announce its stance on advertising with the News of the World. Easyjet has received more than 4,290 tweets, asking it to cease advertising with the News of the World.

WHSmith has received more than 5,000 tweets, calling on the retailer to stop stocking the newspaper in its outlets.

It is alleged that the News of the World hacked the phones of Milly Dowler, 7 July bombing victims’ families and the relatives of murdered Soham school girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Brands including Halifax, Ford and Renault are suspending their advertising with the News of the World until the outcome of a police investigation into hacking at the newspaper has been announced.

Tweets to major advertisers by 9am 6 July 2011
Source: Blue Rubicon

Co-op – 6006
WHSmith – 5785
Virgin Media – 4490
EasyJet – 4290
Gigsandtours – 3496
Weight Watchers – 3084
Renault – 3064
Butlins 2950
Carpetright – 2763

For the live updates into the brand backlash surrounding the latest phone hacking allegations, click here.

Read Lara O’Reilly on why, whether brands stick with News of the World, or shun it, they are likely to receive criticism.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here