Nine Network breached political advertising rules finds ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA),  has found Nine Network to have breached the rules for broadcasting political advertising, by not adequately identifying to the audience who had authorised the advertisement following an investigation.

The investigation found that the information required for a political advertisement run by the Western Australian Labor party was correct and present in the written form, however the speed it was spoken at made “the information unclear to the point of being unintelligible”.

ACMA chair, Nerida O’Loughlin said that those listening would not reasonably be able to understand who authorised the advertisement.

O’Loughlin said: “Correctly tagging political ads ensures transparency and accountability and promotes informed voting at elections.”

“To be fully informed, it’s important that audiences can identify the source of political ads and on this occasion the information was not made clear enough. It’s no good including the information if people can’t understand it.”

Nerida O’Loughlin

The ruling found that the broadcast by Swan Television & Radio Broadcasters, a division of the Nine Network, breached the Broadcasting Services Act 1992, whereby the rules for tagging political matter are set. It states that advertisements from political parties must clearly announce the name of the entity and individual who authorised them and relevant town or city, and that on television the information must be both announced and shown at the end of the advertisement.

Following the breach finding, Nine will provide the ACMA’s investigation to its programming staff.

Mumbrella understands that the ad was run on all the networks and was cleared by Clear Ads.

In April, footage aired in separate reports into a violent attack on a taxi driver by Nine’s Queensland Television and Channel Seven Brisbane were found by ACMA to have breached privacy and distress rules.

In May, ACMA found that 2GB and Alan Jones had breached broadcasting rules during multiple broadcasts of his former breakfast show by not disclosing a commercial agreement with The Star Entertainment Group. This ruling came more than a year after Jones left 2GB.

Channel Nine News was also found to have breached broadcasting privacy rules in November by ACMA, in multiple broadcasts dating back to October, 2019. The three news reports in question disclosed the residential address of two police officers as part of a segment on a vehicle crashing into a house.

And in October last year, a segment on Channel Seven’s The Morning Show was also found to have breached broadcasting rules regarding a commercial agreement with Big W.

When contacted, Nine declined to comment on the ruling.


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