Hobart radio station breached political broadcasting rules, ACMA finds

Hobart radio station 7HOFM breached political advertising rules in broadcasting a local candidate’s incorrectly tagged commercial earlier this year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has ruled.

7HOFM, which is owned by regional media company Grant Broadcasting, broadcast three advertisements for Tasmanian state Labor candidate Jen Butler on 13 September 2017 which the regulator found were insufficiently identified as political commercials.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin: “Audiences have a right to know who is involved in preparing and placing political advertisements”

Butler’s advertisements were followed by the announcement: “Written, spoken and authorised by Jen Butler, 36 William St, Perth”.

The regulator found the tags did not comply with the rules requiring political advertisements to be authorised by a political party and state the address of the party’s principal office.

“Audiences have a right to know who is involved in preparing and placing political advertisements,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

“Political parties need to clearly identify themselves when they are responsible for advertisements being put to air.

“The level of political advertising is likely to increase in the lead-up to the next Tasmanian state election. This is a timely reminder to broadcasting licensees to promote the need for transparency in political communication to their advertisers.”

7HOFM removed the incorrectly tagged advertisements from its broadcast schedule on being advised of ACMA investigating the complaint. The ads have since been recut with compliant authorisation tags.

The regulator and 7HOFM’s management have also agreed on actions to avoid further breaches, including the broadcaster revising its procedures for checking political advertisements.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.