A thirty-one-year-old New Zealand man, identified only as "Sam," has won New Zealand radio station The Rock's "Win a Divorce" contest, as a result of which, Sam will very unromantically tell his wife this upcoming Valentine's Day, live on the air, that he is divorcing her. In exchange, the station will foot the bill for the divorce, provided there are no children involved.

This sounds cruel on the face of it, but in a voice-disguised interview, Sam said he had no "second thoughts" and didn't seem to think his wife would be that upset. 

He said:

This person probably expects it and will probably welcome it. This relationship is over. I'm not a heartless person. I would not do this if I was going to destroy someone's life. I wouldn't do this if I thought someone was going to be really hurt.

The cynical promotion is the brainchild of on-air personalities Robert and Jono, and summed up by a page on The Rock's website which states:

Across our fair land there are hundreds of poor blokes who thought they married an angel who, in fact, turned out to be Satan in a dress. We want to help those oppressed citizens and liberate them from the shackles of a dud marriage so they can live free to drink beer, watch sports and oogle gorgeous ladies on the internet without having to clear their internet history.

Family First NZ's Bob McCoskrie called the contest "tacky, degrading and harmful," and had some stern words for the station. 

Said McCroskie:

Divorces are difficult enough, but to cheapen it to a radio stunt is tacky. The radio station is simply feeding off the misery of others. They are willing to pay for the divorce — will they also pay for the counseling which may be required as a result of this stunt?"

I don't know what Sam's four-year marriage was like, but this seems pretty vindictive. The whole thing's not surprising though, when you see The Rock's tagline is "Bands, Babes, Balls 'n Bull." Or when you consider that the station had to answer to charges of misogyny last year after their "Win-a-Wife" competition offered one lucky winner twelve nights in the Ukraine and $2,000 spending money with which to try and land a wife.

Commentarium (5 Comments)

Feb 12 12 - 4:13pm

Yeah, this is pretty classless. Nothing fun or funny about it.

Feb 12 12 - 6:14pm

OTOH, if she had any doubts about divorce being the right choice, this would certainly dispel them.

Feb 13 12 - 12:03am

Agreed. If you're this type of guy, she probably already knows.

Feb 13 12 - 4:21pm
AJ Reynolds

This stunt was first started by a radio station in Canada. In Halifax Canada Q104. This is not an original idea by any stretch.

Feb 14 12 - 4:56am
caboda throughout

While many complain of the marketing scam that Valentine’s Day seems to have become, one radio station has been planning a first.

A divorce, live on air.

This afternoon, the first surprise hit.

The Rock hosts teased the audience with "All is not what seems", and revealing that the participant wasn’t a man as commonly assumed.

The divorcee is a woman named Sam.

She said she had been married for four years and had been unhappy for a while and had met someone else online.

Sam repeatedly confirmed she was ready and willing to go ahead with the divorce and said it "won't cause any long term mental damage" to her partner.

The life-ruining event is paid for by the Media Works-owned station, on the conditions that the partner being dropped only learns about it live on air. And that there are not kids involved.

The phone rings, and it's not Andy that answers - the situation The Rock presenters were expecting.

Sam's female partner Amber answers, and a verbal battle ensues.

"I am appalled by this competition," says Amber.

"I never thought this would go ahead," says Sam.

"This is a civil f***** union," says Sam.

After a long pause, Jono says "so Sam you’ve been lying".

"Suckers," says Sam.

"You tell them babe," says Amber.

It appears that the couple were so appalled by the competition they entered to make a point and get their own back on the broadcasters.

The conversation ended with two of the best quotes from radio so far this year.

"It feels like we're in an episode of Scooby Doo," said Jono. "And we would've gotten away with it except for you two dastardly lesbians."

"No wonder there are so many woman on woman relationships with d******** like you around," retorted Amber.