Health and beauty and electricals market leaders Boots and Dixons have both decided to pull their advertising in the News of the World.

Their decisions to suspend their relationship with the newspaper followed allegations that it hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and concerns that it may have done the same to relatives of the 7/7 terrorists attacks in London and the families of British troops killed in Afghanistan.

A Boots UK spokesman said: “In light of the evolving situation, we have put on hold further advertising with the News of the World. An advertisement, which was printed some time ago, however, will appear in this Sunday’s Fabulous magazine.”

A Dixons spokesman said: “In response to the increasing concerns of our customers Dixons Retail would like to clarify that it will not be advertising in the News Of The World until further notice.”

Their decision followed that of Sainsbury’s which this morning became the first big-four grocer to pull its advertising in the tabloid.

Sainsbury’s announced on social media site Twittter: “Due to the rising concerns of our customers we’re suspending any advertising in the News of the World until the outcome of the investigation.”

The Co-operative Group, the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, and DIY specialist Wickes suspended their advertising in News of the World yesterday.