Ads from Clive Palmer’s UAP to be under strict scrutiny as he promises record election spending

As reported in The Age yesterday, mining Billionaire Clive Palmer has said his United Australia Party is set to run “the most most expensive political campaign in Australian history at the next federal election”.

The party is tipped to exceed the $80 million mark it spent at the most recent federal election in 2019, however according to several industry sources, its campaigns and placement will be under increased scrutiny this time around.

In August 2021, Nine told Mumbrella it had rejected advertisements from Palmer’s political party, that it considered contravene government issued-health advice on vaccines.

UAP anti-lockdown advertising

It is understood that both Nine and Seven will be accepting all political advertising in the lead-up to the election campaign, providing that it meets the Clear Ads/ Free TV Code of Practice & TGA regulations.

Steve O’Connor, CEO of outdoor provider JC Decaux told Mumbrella: “JCDecaux will accept authorised advertising from the Clive Palmer party and other political parties under certain circumstances. Firstly that it does not contain any misinformation or breach any laws. We have a team of experts internally who assess the suitability of the creative and it will be rejected if we feel that inaccuracy or misleading forms part of the message. Secondly, as a member of the OMA we adhere fully to the Political Advertising Policy which includes not accepting political advertising that contains false or defamatory information and up holds community standards. Political messaging can only be displayed in select locations where it is permitted by our contract partners.”

Managing partner of Hatched Media, Adrian Roeling also told Mumbrella the media are likely to run UAP advertising “as they did in 2019, however there will be heightened scrutiny by the media themselves and the several government agencies policing misinformation and advertising standards.”

“The UAP will have to adhere to these standards or face restrictions in placement.”

Palmer announced yesterday that he will lead the UAP’s Queensland Senate bid at the upcoming election, tipped to go ahead in mid-May.

While both Seven and Nine did not wish to comment on the matter, however Mumbrella understands that Nine will follow similar guidelines in rejecting advertising that contravenes official health guidance.

A spokesperson told Mumbrella in August: “Nine has been vocal in our support for the health advice and has actively used our TV, newspaper, digital and radio properties and ad space to urge Australians to get vaccinated. We would also note that when we have received ads which contravene the health advice or ATAGI guidance on vaccines, we have rejected them.

“However, individuals in a free society, have the right to purchase clearly labelled political advertising which questions lockdowns as a policy response. These views do not reflect Nine’s position on these issues, which we have clearly expressed, and have no impact on the work of our journalists. But as a media organisation we do not believe in censoring ads that do not contravene the health advice or ATAGI guidance on vaccines.”

Chairman and founding partner of independent media agency Atomic 212, Barry O’Brien OAM wrote in Mumbrella earlier this month about the upcoming election cycle, and the projected boost it is set to provide for the first half of 2022



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