The Carphone Warehouse has announced it is suspending its sponsorship of Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother programme.
The announcement comes in the wake of negative publicity surrounding the show centring on accusations that some of the British housemates were engaging in racist behaviour towards Indian housemate Shilpa Shetty.
British television regulator Ofcom has received 23,000 complaints about the show, making it the most complained about programme in British television history. It has also been the focus of demonstrations in India, prompting statements condemning racism from British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Charles Dunstone, CEO of The Carphone Warehouse, said: “Our concern has rapidly mounted about the broadcast behaviour of individuals within the Big Brother house. We are totally against all forms of racism and bullying and indeed this behaviour is entirely at odds with the brand values of The Carphone Warehouse. As a result, we feel that as long as this continues we are unable to associate our brand with the programme.
“We had already made it clear to Channel 4 that were this to continue, we would have to consider our position. Nothing we saw last night gave us any comfort. Accordingly, we have instructed Channel 4 to remove our sponsorship name and branding with immediate effect.”
By Niall Byrne