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Jan 11, 2009

BBC makes light of Marks and Spencer job cuts

A local radio station made a spoof version of the firm's television adverts with a woman's voice saying: "These are not just any job cuts, these are M&S job cuts."

The item was broadcast live on air moments after presenter Julian Clegg announced the high street chain was making 1,230 redundancies and closing 27 stores.

To the music of Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" the comment was heard by thousands of listeners to the morning show on Radio Solent.

Presenter Clegg appeared to be attempting to apologise moments later.

He said: "Err, well the production team had a bit of a err, tongue in cheek during that."

The Corporation has been criticised regularly over recent months, particularly for the broadcast of offensive material about the granddaughter of former Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs by radio presenters Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.

Jim Carty, of union USDAW which represents M&S staff, said: "This is not funny, especially if you are on the receiving end.

"It's a bit sick really and I thought the BBC would have been a bit more cautious after what has gone on recently.

"There is nothing funny about job losses."

Jon Beyer, director of MediaWatch, a campaign group that fights for higher standards of taste and decency in the media, said: "Although I can see the joke, people losing their jobs is not a funny business and I think it is something that is a serious matter for an awful lot of people."

Listener John James, from Ringwood, Hants, said: "It's all right for them and everyone in the public sector to be smug about it, but in the real world things are becoming hard."

M&S announced that the shop chain was to shed 1,200 jobs after figures showed a seven per cent drop in sales.

It will close 25 of its food halls and two general stores across the country.

M&S chief executive Sir Stuart Rose has said: "Every company has to cut its cloth according to its means."

A spokeswoman for BBC Radio Solent said: "A substantial part of yesterday's breakfast show was dedicated to our listeners' concerns about potential job cuts and their impact.

"There was certainly no intention to cause offence."

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Source : Telegraph
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