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.

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