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PR expert reveals how Kyle Sandilands’ offensive Virgin Mary comments could see him lose millions

Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson could lose millions of dollars in advertising revenue as the fallout continues following his offensive comments about the Virgin Mary.

Last week, the KIIS FM radio host sparked outrage when he claimed Mary was not actually a virgin and one public relations expert believes the comments could cost him sponsorship.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia on Thursday, Nicole Reaney, of InsideOut Public Relations, who has no affiliation with Kyle, said his comments could have tremendous consequences for the Kyle and Jackie ‘O’ show. 

Outrage: Kyle Sandilands (pictured) and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson could lose millions of dollars in advertising revenue as the fallout continues following his offensive comments about the Virgin Mary

‘There may be some loyal listeners that follow Kyle for the social stirring he causes, however as we have seen with 2GB, it’s the public reaction and social commentary outside of this that may impact the show and a reaction from advertisers,’ she said. 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) confirmed on Thursday they have received dozens of complaints.

‘The ACMA has received over 150 complaints regarding the comments made by Mr Sandilands about the Virgin Mary,’ a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.

”Under the co-regulatory system, the ACMA will refer complainants to the broadcaster in the first instance.

‘If the complainant does not receive a response from the broadcaster within 60 days, or is not satisfied with the response, they may refer their complaint to the ACMA.’

Last year, Cricket Australia announced it would not advertise with the Kyle and Jackie O Show’s parent company Australian Radio Network after an outrageous stunt.

Scandal: Last week, the KIIS FM radio host sparked outrage when he claimed Mary was not actually a virgin and one public relations expert believes the comments could cost him radio sponsorships

Scandal: Last week, the KIIS FM radio host sparked outrage when he claimed Mary was not actually a virgin and one public relations expert believes the comments could cost him radio sponsorships

Kyle and Jackie O show producer, Pete Deppeler, (AKA Intern Pete), crashed Steve Smith’s emotional public apology following a ball tampering scandal and critics including Cricket Australia were not impressed. 

Kyle’s sharp tongue also cost him a sponsor back in 2011, when he personally attacked a journalist who dared to report the low ratings ratings of his TV show Kyle and Jackie O’s Night With The Stars.  

Holden withdrew its sponsorship of the Kyle and Jackie O Show, which was aired on 2Day FM at the time, after he lashed out at the female journalist – calling her a ‘piece of s**t’ and attacking her weight and general appearance live on-air. 

In a statement at the time, spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale said: ‘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.’

The following year, the weight-loss company Jenny Craig followed suit and pulled it’s sponsorship citing similar reasons. 

Expert opinion: Branding expert Nicole Reaney (pictured), of InsideOut Public Relations, said Kyle's comments could have tremendous consequences for the Kyle and Jackie 'O' show

Expert opinion: Branding expert Nicole Reaney (pictured), of InsideOut Public Relations, said Kyle’s comments could have tremendous consequences for the Kyle and Jackie ‘O’ show

Kyle’s latest controversy began last week when he claimed Virgin Mary is a ‘liar’ who got knocked up ‘behind a camel shed’, in a now-deleted video shared to Instagram.

During the offensive radio segment, Kyle claimed that Mary was not actually a virgin.

‘I thought Mary was his [Jesus Christ’s] girlfriend but apparently it was the mother,’ he said.

‘And the mother lied obviously and told everyone, ‘Nah I got pregnant by a magical ghost’. Bulls**t.

‘Someone chock-a-blocked her behind the camel shed… You might believe everything that’s written down 2,000 years ago to be absolutely accurate and good on you, you’re dumb. Dumb as dog s**t.’ 

The comments sparked complaints and protests this week, with Christians and Muslims banding together and calling for Kyle to be fired. 

A video of the segment was later removed from KIIS FM’s social media channels and Kyle apologised for his remarks.

‘I’m sorry if I offended anyone with my comments,’ he told The Daily Telegraph. ‘Everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs and I’m fully supportive of that right.’ 

Nicole said Kyle should do more in order to redeem himself. 

‘Kyle apologised relatively soon after the comments which is a 180 degree turn from his usual defiant approach,’ she said.

‘He recognised he caused offence and apologised for that. The issue is that Kyle is not new to controversy and each situation chips away at his personal image.

Backlash: Christian and Muslim protesters (right) gathered outside KIIS FM's studios in North Ryde, Sydney on Monday demanding that Kyle (pictured) be fired

Backlash: Christian and Muslim protesters (right) gathered outside KIIS FM's studios in North Ryde, Sydney on Monday demanding that Kyle (left) be fired

Backlash: Christian and Muslim protesters (right) gathered outside KIIS FM’s studios in North Ryde, Sydney on Monday demanding that Kyle (left) be fired 

‘His comments, while he says were unintended to cause such offence, given the public reaction he will need to address this once more.’  

In a statement to Daily Mail Australia on Monday, an Australian Radio Network (ARN) spokesperson apologised for Kyle’s comments.

‘As we said last week, we echo Kyle’s [apology] and unreservedly apologise for any offence that may have been caused,’ they said.

‘Last week when this content ran, we immediately recognised that it wasn’t appropriate for distribution and it was removed immediately.’ 

Nine-time ACRA winners Kyle and Jackie ‘O’ first launched their 2DayFM radio show in 2005 before moving to KIIS in 2014.

Since then, their show has consistently remained one of the highest-rated breakfast radio programs in Australia.

In 2016, the pair reportedly inked a five-year deal worth over $30 million with Australian Radio Network (ARN). 

The Sunday Telegraph reported the pair are set to earn $2.2 million a year, which could rise to $3.6 million a year thanks to ratings-based bonus incentives.

This means, each of them could earn upwards of $16 million each over five years, taking the total value of their new contract over the $30 million mark.

'She lied!' During the offensive radio segment, which has since been deleted from social media, Kyle claimed that Mary was not actually a virgin. Pictured: A statue of the Virgin Mary

‘She lied!’ During the offensive radio segment, which has since been deleted from social media, Kyle claimed that Mary was not actually a virgin. Pictured: A statue of the Virgin Mary

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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