ZIP FM has been forced into a public relations spin after a stunt by one of its presenters this week resulted in telecommunications firm Digicel pulling its advertising from the radio station.
In a viral video that has been widely condemned on social media, the female presenter is seen presenting a gift wrapped bat to Ramone Silvera, who himself gained notoriety this week. This was after he was caught on camera on Monday, verbally abusing passengers of a taxicab in an expletive-laden tirade while threatening them as he held a piece of board in his hand.
Silvera, who describes himself as ‘Professional Clown’, demanded that the passengers exit the vehicle that was operating at the same time taxi drivers withdrew their service as they demanded a ticket amnesty from the Government. He has since been slapped with several charges including assault at common law, disorderly conduct, and using indecent language.
The host joked with Silvera after he was handed the bat, urging him to use it responsibly.
Not amused, Digicel informed that it had pulled its ads from ZIP with immediate effect. It advised in a statement on Twitter that the action will last for 30 days.
“We care about Jamaica and want the best for our beautiful nation. Like many Jamaicans, we find ZIP FM's recent actions unacceptable,” Digicel said.
ZIP has informed that action will be taken. It also sought to explain that unauthorised persons recorded and posted the video which is not on its official platform.
However, Twitter users have been scathing in their comments.
“Big big radio station a look clout. The media plays a pivotal role in what our society has become,” one person tweeted.
Added another: “This is a perfect example that we can't expect our younger generations to act positively because the worst is always being glorified. Sad reality.”
Another Twitter user suggested that the host “should have been suspended for using her position of influence to enable violence.”