News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch and NOTW's former editor Rebekah Brooks, now the head of News International. Michael Stephens/PA Wire

Tesco sitting on the fence over NOTW ads as News Corp shares fall

The share price News Corp and BSkyB fall after fears takeover bid will be blocked in response to the NOTW phone hacking allegations.

SUPERMARKET CHAIN Tesco is among a number of News of the World advertisers who are considering whether to go ahead with planned advertising on the newspaper’s pages or to pull out.

The company said in a statement today that it would wait for “the allegations to be investigated thoroughly”, but contacted the Telegraph later to point out that this did not necessarily mean they were pulling their ads.

Instead, they said they “can’t say” if the ads will be continued or not.

Bulmers confirmed to yesterday that it was pulling its ads from the publication, while SuperValu said it was reviewing the situation.

Virgin Media said today via Twitter that it was cutting its advertising from the NOTW, but that it had been told that its magazine insert ad for this weekend would still be published as it had already been “printed & sealed”. “There will be no more after this,” Virgin Media said.

The Guardian has compiled a list of the newspaper’s top 50 advertisers and how much they spend on the publication.

Share price blow

Citywire reports that the shares of News Corporation, the parent company of News International, have fallen 3.6 per cent since the scandal broke. The fall is being attributed to the number of advertisers backing away from the NOTW and fears that News Corp won’t succeed in taking over BSkyB.

News Corp has secured the government’s preliminary approval to buy out the 61 per cent of the broadcaster which it doesn’t already own. However, some politicians are now calling for the deal to be blocked.

The culture secretary’s department said today that it had received over 100,000 comments on the buy-out proposal, but would not specify the proportions in support or against the deal. Britain’s culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to make a decision on approving or blocking the deal in the coming months.

BSkyB shares also dropped today. Sam Hart, an analyst at Charles Stanley and Co, said investors seem worried but he expects News Corp to be able to put forward an offer for the takeover despite the controversy. “It’s very difficult to make a judgment how the political side of things will play out,” he added.

Read more: NOTW phone hacking: What News International and Rebekah Brooks are saying >

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