Editor’s letter: NOTW ad climbdowns prove power of Twitter

Editor’s letter: NOTW ad climbdowns prove power of Twitter

TWgroup editor Lucy HuxleyThis week’s allegations that a private investigator employed by the News of the World hacked Milly Dowler’s mobile phone wasn’t something I expected Travel Weekly to be covering.

But the Twitter storm that brewed up on Tuesday boiled over and scalded big travel brands, including Butlins, First Choice, easyJet and The Co-operative Travel.

Now Co-operative and Virgin Holidays have suspended their activity with the paper, and Tui is “reviewing its options”. Outside of travel, the Sunday red top has lost a slew of major advertisers that includes Ford, npower and Orange.

Now, those of you who have never been anywhere near a tweet, never mind a hashtag, will be scratching your heads wondering what on earth I’m on about.

But this week’s campaign to shame all companies that have links to News of the World, including its advertisers, has at the heart of it a phenomenon that’s not likely to go away.

Online social media platforms such as Twitter are providing an increasingly powerful stage for users to campaign on certain issues that gain momentum and influence in a way they would never have done in the past.

You might think it’s a stretch to expect advertisers in a particular publication to be responsible for how its employees behave. But this episode is a reminder of a changing world in which all organisations are under increasing pressure to be more responsible about how they operate.


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