Ford has canceled advertising deals with News of the World in response to allegations that the U.K. newspaper illegally listened to voicemail messages of a missing schoolgirl. According to Automotive News, Ford pulled the News of the World ads in response to a Twitter campaign.
News of the World is part of News International, a large media conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch. It is alleged that in 2002, reporters from NOTW hacked into the cellphone voicemail messages of schoolgirl Milly Dowler. Dowler was missing at the time and was later found dead. Automotive News reports that the newspaper’s employees even deleted voicemail messages — possibly hindering police investigations.
News of the World is the U.K.’s most popular newspaper, reportedly selling 2,708,158 copies weekly in February 2011. The paper has previously been criticized for illegally listening to private voicemail messages of celebrities and politicians. A large number of Twitter users have reportedly been sending messages to the paper’s largest advertisers, asking them to cancel their ad contracts. According to AN, Ford has not pulled advertising from other News International papers like The Times.
Source: Automotive News