Sandilands’ comments lose breakfast show a dozen advertisers: updated

Kyle Sandilands has said sorry, sort of, to News Limited journalist Ali Stephenson for his comments labeling her a “fat slag” and a “piece of shit.” Public backlash over Sandilands’ abusive comments has now caused at least a dozen companies to withdraw their advertising from the Kyle and Jackie O Show. In an opening segment on yesterday’s program Sandilands defended his tirade, claiming he was merely exercising his right to “freedom of speech,” but he may also have to justify his comments to his boss Rhys Holleran, who has released a formal apology through radioinfo and says he will personally take up the issue with Sandilands.

Southern Cross Austereo CEO Rhys Holleran has told radioinfo: “Kyle speaks his mind, however in this case we recognise that his opinions have caused offence and sincerely apologise. Southern Cross Austereo does not condone his sentiments, is addressing issues with Kyle personally and assessing internal systems and processes. We value our listeners and clients dearly and hold the utmost respect for their opinions and actions.”

Comments to radioinfo’s Twitter feed and in the comments section of this story indicate that some believe the apology does not go far enough. In another twist to the story, a Sack Sandilands website has published Rhys Holleran’s mobile phone number and email, urging people to contact him directly to complain to protest. 


The storm of criticism escalated this week, widening out to label Sandilands a woman hater, based on his comments: “Fat slag…you’re a piece of shit. You haven’t got that much titty to be wearing that low cut a blouse. Watch your mouth girl, or I will hunt you down.”


On air Kyle admitted, “obviously I reacted badly… probably a bit overboard, I went personal on her because I thought her attack was personal on me… when they say I shouldn’t be attacking personally that’s probably fair, I do react and overreact in a personal way.”  He and Jackie O also addressed the ‘woman hater’ angle, which was played up by tv current affairs shows last night.  The full transcript of Kyle’s original comments is at the bottom of this article, and for the full audio from yesterday, listen here. 


Initially, Holden announced on Twitter that it was no longer sponsoring the Kyle and Jackie O show. The Good Guys followed soon after then Blackmores also pulled their advertising, followed by Harvey Norman, Crazy John’s, Fantastic Furniture, Medibank, and Telstra. The Federal Government is one of the latest to withdraw its advertising from any show with Kyle on it.


An online petition calling for the cancelation of advertising on the Kyle and Jackie O show ‘until Kyle Sandilands is dumped from radio’, had received approximately 17,000 signatures by friday morning.


In advertiser reactions, Holden’s spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale said in a media statement: “recent comments made on the Kyle and Jackie O breakfast show do not in any way reflect the views or opinions of Holden and we are very disappointed to hear Kyle’s personal attack on a journalist…We believe the show is no longer in line with Holden’s core values and as a result we have taken action to withdraw our sponsorship of the program, effective immediately.”

The Good Guys announced that it did not “condone the recent actions of Kyle Sandilands.”

Blackmores have also pulled their ads from the show, saying the company has  “been advertising with the Austereo network for many years as a supporter of Australian media and we are extremely concerned that offensive comments were made on the Kyle and Jackie O Show…We do not endorse the comments made by Kyle Sandilands yesterday morning and they are not fitting with Blackmores’ values.”

Telstra Group Manager of media relations Craig Middleton tweeted: “Recent comments do not reflect Telstra values”. On its official Twitter account, Vodafone said: “We are not sponsors of the Kyle and Jackie. Our ads were in the Take40 but we hear you & will be moving those ads out.” 

Medibank said: “We’ve made the decision to move our spot from the show, following the comments made by Kyle.”

Fantastic Furniture told that they pulled their advertisements during Kyle’s breakfast show and Take40 over Kyle’s “horrid” rant. “We’ve been caught up unfortunately in a two-week window of advertising where he’s gone and made comments, which we don’t condone and think are horrid. We’ve replied to all people who’ve complained on our customer hotline.”


While advertisers are registering their objection to Sandilands’ comments by removing their ads from the show, the reality is likely to be that the ads are just being rescheduled into other 2Day time slots and that Austereo is unlikely to lose much advertising revenue in the short term. 


Regulator ACMA has confirmed to radioinfo it has received some complaints about Sandilands, but a spokesperson explained: “under [the] broadcasting complaints process people must lodge a complaint first with the broadcaster, which then has 60 days to respond. If they don’t, or don’t provide a satisfactory response in the complainant’s view, then people can then complain directly [to ACMA].”



On air, Sandilands said, while people had accused him of launching a personal attack on Stephenson, they also attacked him personally. He read out editor-in-chief David Penberthy’s opinion piece, which called him a “dead-set rolled-gold card-carrying dickhead.”

“Maybe if those that want to criticise me, they’re allowed to,” Sandilands said. “We live in a country of free speech, you’re allowed to say what you want and so am I.”


On the woman hater angle, Sandilands defended his attack on Ali Stephenson saying: “If you grew up in my family and you witnessed what I had to witness, you would realise that I am the last thing on Earth like a woman hater. Whether you’re male, whether you’re female…I treat everyone equally. It doesn’t matter your gender, your race, your sexual preference, you’re equal as far as I’m concerned.

“It is pathetic, grubby journalism. And I’m really surprised that all the TV stations got fooled by one news organisation that I was some sort of woman hater.”

Jackie O said she supported Kyle and that the story had been “skewed.” “I think your biggest fault is that you don’t like anyone criticising you because then you attack back, but it’s certainly not reserved to women,” she told Kyle.

Sandilands continued, saying he didn’t have an agenda against anyone, but would always defend himself “like any normal Australian would do. If you took a personal offence to it Ali I’m sorry, but maybe you should think again before you start going different people.”


For Kyle’s original comments, see below (and our earlier story):

Kyle: Some fat slag on the Telegraph website, sorry, the, has already branded it a disaster. You can tell by reading the article she just hates us, and has always hated us. She trawled through the twitter comments and pulled out all the bad comments and ran them. What a fat bitter thing you are, you deputy editor of an online thing. You’ve got a nothing job anyway. You’re a piece of shit.

Jackie O: You take criticism so well. I don’t think I heard Hamish and Andy do this when this happened.

Kyle: I don’t care. Hamish and Andy handle their things the way that they do. But this low thing, … I can tell you, you are supposed to be impartial, you little troll.

Jackie O: Is it in the TV section?

Kyle: No, it’s on (Reads out the review.) “video killed the radio star. Shock jock Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O are maybe the latest airwave talent to fall victim of the small screen. Within minutes of the radio duo’s highly anticipated program a night with the stars premiered, fans had already taken to twitter to pronounce the 90-minute special ‘awkward and a ‘disaster’. You’re a bullshit artist, girl. That’s what you are. You should be fired from your job. And your hair. Your hair is very 90s.

Jackie O: They’ve put a picture of her?

Kyle: Yeah, and your blouse. You haven’t got that much titty to be wearing that low cut a blouse. Watch your mouth, girl, or I will hunt you down.

Jackie O: You have got to learn to take it on the chin a little bit.

Kyle: No. Even people I hate, I give them the benefit of the doubt.



Twitter’s Australian trends map (or as Kyle said on his tv show “that twitter thing”) on thursday still showed various Kyle Sandilands hash tags trending significantly, and advertiser brands who had pulled their advertising from the show were also trending heavily.



See our Hot off the Press & Web page at the link below, if you have missed the media reaction to Kyle, especially from News Limited colleagues of Ms Stephenson.