News Corp brands continue to take a hit

Ryanair and Virgin Media took a poke at News Corp this weekend as the phone hacking scandal continued to heat up and take more casualties.

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The budget airline ran ads across a series of the quality newspapers with a picture of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who resigned from her position last week. She was bailed today after being quizzed by police on her involvement with the News of the World hacking scandal in her time as editor there.

The ad reads: “Hacked off with high fares…fly Ryanair”. The ad also depicts a thought bubble rising from Brooks’ head saying: “I’m outta here with Ryanair!”.

Virgin Media also ran a series of ads, across a range of qualities and tabloids to advertise its new Virgin Media TiVo service.

The ad makes reference to Rupert Murdoch’s ownership of 39% of BSkyB and appeared days after he withdrew his bid to take full control of the pay-tv company.

It reads: “A truly next generation PVR that should have Sky shaking in its boots” and features thumbs up and thumbs down symbols with the line below saying: “Richard likes it. Rupert doesn’t.”

The News Corp jibes appeared in the same newspapers as full page News International adverts apologising for the company’s conduct and outlining its actions to correct the wrongdoing that took place at some of its newspapers.

The phone hacking scandal took its most high profile tragedies over the weekend, with Britain’s most senior police officer Sir Paul Stephenson resigning as well as News Corp veteran and Wall Street Journal chief Les Hinton.

Stephenson faced pressure after hiring former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis, who was arrested over his part in the phone hacking scandal last week, as a PR adviser to the police in 2009.

He also faced questions about his police force accepting money from the News of the World and the effectiveness of the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into the phone hacking scandal at the now defunct Sunday tabloid.

Hinton told staff at the Wall Street Journal that had he to resign because of the actions that took place at News International in his time there, despite the fact that he claims he was ignorant to what had happened.

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