Radio station's divorce promo 'cowardly'
Valentine's Day 2012
A Valentine's Day promotion by an Auckland-based radio station to spring a divorce on an unsuspecting spouse has been slammed as "cowardly and disrespectful" by a relationship counselling organisation.
The Rock hosts Robert Taylor and Jono Pryor - who are also behind the aggravating Wind Up Your Wife stunts on the Drive show - are offering to "lend a helping hand" to a not-so-in-love couple on what is meant to be the most romantic day of the year.
The MediaWorks-owned station will pay for the divorce provided there are no children involved and the person being dropped only learns their relationship is over live on air.
Mary Gray, executive director of Home and Family Counselling, said the breakdown of a relationship was "no laughing matter" and should be taken seriously.
"We find the promotion a very cowardly and disrespectful response to a very serious problem between two people," she said.
"We would like to see anyone breaking off a relationship to do so with courage and respect."
The Rock station manager Brad King defended the stunt saying it was a "tongue-in-cheek promo on a male-targeted radio station".
"Last year around Valentine's Day, Robert and Jono gave away a wife - a promotion that ended up making two strangers from opposite sides of the world very happy," he said.
"It's fair to say, that particular promotion copped a bit of criticism from various minority groups, so this year Robert and Jono decided to lend a helping hand ... The other way and help out a couple who no longer want to be together."
King added that the promotion initially drew criticism from listeners, with one even accusing the "two twits" of having "zero morals".
"But since the announcement, a lot of people are genuinely interested in what is happening and are tuning in to hear how it all rolls out on Valentine's Day."
The promotion's winner, known only as "Sam" will have her true identity revealed on Tuesday.
In 2010, 8900 couples were granted a divorce in New Zealand.
Last years' Valentine's Day promotion offering listeners the chance to "win a wife" drew the wrath of a local MP.
The winner was given a 12-night stay in Ukraine, $2000 spending money and was able to choose a bride from an agency.
At the time, Green MP and social activist Sue Bradford slammed the stunt as "disturbing".
"It is unusual and somewhat disturbing that a commercial entity would commercialise what should be one of the most meaningful human relationships and actually offer it as a prize for a radio show," she said.
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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