Coles Pulls Ads From Radio as Nurse Dies After Royal Hoax Call

Australian companies including Wesfarmers Ltd. (WES)’s Coles unit removed advertising from a Sydney radio station after a nurse in London who took a hoax phone call about the Duchess of Cambridge was found dead.

Coles instructed 2Day FM to remove advertising from the station as soon as possible, the supermarket said on its Facebook page. Telstra Corp., Australia’s biggest phone company, has suspended advertising on the station until an investigation into the issue has concluded, the Australian newspaper reported on its website, citing an unidentified spokesman.

Two presenters from Southern Cross Austereo phoned London’s King Edward VII hospital this week seeking details about the health of the former Kate Middleton after she was admitted for acute morning sickness. The nurse who took the call has been found dead, the BBC reported yesterday.

“We respect the right of our advertisers to make the decisions that they think is best for them,” Southern Cross Media Group Ltd. (SXL) Chief Executive Officer Rhys Holleran said at a press conference in Melbourne today. “Southern Cross Austereo and the hosts have mutually decided that their show will not return until further notice.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened by the death, according to a statement.

“We’re satisfied that we haven’t broken any laws,” Holleran said. The station “is committed to working with authorities in any investigation into this tragedy,” he said.

The duchess left hospital on Dec. 6. Wesfarmers is Australia’s second-biggest retailer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jim McDonald at jmcdonald8@bloomberg.net

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