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Ford pulls ads over hacking claims

Car-maker Ford pulled its advertising from the News of the World today following allegations that a private investigator working for the paper hacked into schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone when she went missing.

The company said it would work with alternative media instead, including papers in the News International group such as The Sun and its website.

A spokesman said: "Ford is a company which cares about the standards of behaviour of its own people and those it deals with externally.

"We are awaiting an outcome from the News of the World investigation and expect a speedy and decisive response.

"Pending this response we will be using alternative media within and outside News International Group instead of placing Ford advertising in the News of the World."

Other companies also said they were considering pulling their advertising from the newspaper.

An Npower spokesman said: "We note the concerns which have arisen on the back of fresh allegations of phone hacking against the News of the World. We are currently reviewing our options."

And a Halifax spokesman said: "We are considering our options."

Responding to customers on Facebook and Twitter, Tesco said: "We know that you have a lot of questions surrounding recent News of the World allegations.

"These latest allegations will cause huge distress to a family which has suffered enough.

"It's now a matter for the police.

"Like everyone, we await the outcome of their investigation."

News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks sent a staff bulletin to advertisers informing them of the latest reports of hacking in order to keep them up to date, Ford said.

The decision to suspend advertising from the Sunday tabloid indefinitely was made as a direct result of the claims in relation to the Dowler case, the spokesman confirmed.

A Virgin Media spokeswoman said: "We're not taking any action at this point. We're just waiting for the outcome of any investigation and then we will look into what to do."

A BT spokesman declined to comment.