NOTW advertisers dropping out by the hour

Sunday tabloid The News of the World is being battered by people power as an increasing number of high-profile advertisers declare that they are withdrawing or reviewing advertising campaigns running in the scurrilous rag.

Ford, Renault, Cadbury's, Mumsnet (eh?), NatWest, Coca Cola, The Body Shop, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, LLoyds Bank, Vauxhall, Virgin Holidays, The Halifax, the Co-Op, Aldi and Talk Talk have all either withdrawn ads or diplomatically stated they have 'no advertsing plans' according to a handy live blog of the affair being regularly updated by Political Scrapbook.

Other big hitters including T-Mobile, N-Power, Dixons (which includes Curry's and PC World), Vodafone, Orange, Proctor & Gamble and First Choice say they are reviewing their positions.

Ford, which was the first company to emphatically lay its cards on the table, and reportedly accounts for as much as ten per cent of the rag's revenue said:

"Ford is a company which cares about the standards of behaviour of its own people and those it deals with externally.

"We are awaiting an outcome from the News of the World investigation and expect a speedy and decisive response.

"Pending this response we will be using alternative media within and outside News International Group instead of placing Ford advertising in the News of the World."

After an earlier U-turn, supermarket, banking and funeral outfit the Co-op said:

"The Co-operative Group has taken the decision to suspend temporarily any further advertising and promotional activity with the News of the World until the outcome of the investigation is known.

"The Group is a consumer-owned business which adheres to strong ethical standards. These allegations have been met with revulsion by the vast majority of members who have contacted us.

"We would urge everyone involved to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion for the sake of all those who are affected by these events.

An Npower spokesman said: "We note the concerns which have arisen on the back of fresh allegations of phone hacking against the News of the World. We are currently reviewing our options."

As we reported yesterday, much of the weight of public opinion has been gathered through digital media campaigns, including that initiated by Twitterer Paul Friend, otherwise known as EroticPuffin. We'd like to thinq it's no coincidence that the first company to publicly boycott the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper was the first entry in a handy list of CEO emails provided by the campaign's web site.

By the same token, supermarket chain Morrissons, which inadvisedly stated: "Our position is very clear, we’re continuing to advertise in the News of the World,“ was last on the list. We know where we won't be buying our weekly supply of Pot Noodles later today.

As further allegations continue to fly - and reports that the paper not only hacked the phones of family members of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, but also those of the victims of the 7/7 London terrorist bombings come to light - protests against the Murdoch empire are being arranged.

The Guardian is running a live blog on the affair and its repercussions, including questions which are currently being asked in Parliament.