The smiling visage of Sydney shock-jock Alan Jones will continue to stare out on Canberra traffic from Transport Canberra buses, much to the disappointment of the Greens which sponsored a community petition started by Canberra Women in Business president Peta Swarbrick to have Jones’ ads removed from buses after remarks about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Arden.
The petition called for Transport Canberra to immediately remove all advertisements promoting people who make sexist public comments, including Alan Jones, from bus advertising, and ensure that promotion of people who make sexist public comments is added to the bans in the Transport Canberra advertising guidelines.
But the Government has decided that there is nothing to stop the advertising, although it says it will not place ads during his syndicated broadcasts on 2CC.
Transport Minister Chris Steel said Mr Jones’ misogynistic behaviour was appalling and his comments about Ms Ardern abhorrent, but there was no mechanism to prevent advertisements on Transport Canberra buses unless there was an offensive message in the ad, which there wasn’t.
“The ACT Government has joined other organisations in barring the placement of advertising during the Alan Jones Show, sending a message that Jones’s continued misogynistic comments are reprehensible,” he said.
ACT Greens spokesperson for Women and Transport Caroline Le Couteur said it was disappointing that the Government had decided that they would not update the Transport Canberra guidelines to ensure that a broadcaster with Alan Jones’ reprehensible record was not promoted in the public space.
But she did welcome the Government’s commitment to ensure that there will not be any ACT Government advertising during the Alan Jones program.
“Like most Canberrans, I find Mr Jones’ views appalling and harmful. His comments go beyond sexism and misogyny, he actually calls for violence against women,” Ms Le Couteur said.
“Even many of Alan Jones’ advertisers have come to their senses with reports today that around 50 per cent of them have abandoned their support for his show.
“Unfortunately, today we learned that the ACT Government will continue to profit from a broadcaster who has repeatedly made these calls for violence.”
Mr Jones and the radio stations on which his show is broadcast have suffered an advertising backlash since his on-air remarks about Ms Ardern in August.
Mr Jones said “I just wonder whether Scott Morrison is going to be fully briefed to shove a sock down her [Ms Ardern’s] throat”, and “I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders”.
Mr Jones did apologise for his comments but that has not quelled the outrage at his behaviour.