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Seven Adelaide breached accuracy provisions with online florist report, finds regulator

Seven Adelaide breached the commercial television industry’s code of practice in a report last March about an online flower delivery business, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has ruled.

The Today Tonight segment claimed online florist Bloomex had failed to deliver expensive flowers, or delivered them dead. A story which ACMA ruled breached the code’s accuracy and fairness provisions.

According to the story, the NSW Fair Trading Commissioner issued a ‘public warning’ not to use the company, however the ACMA has found Today Tonight misrepresented those comments.

“Today Tonight incorrectly reported that the Commissioner had issued a public warning not to use the company, during an interview recorded for the segment,” the ACMA said.

“Instead, in pre-recorded comments not put to air, the Commissioner had only spoken about online flower sellers generally and noted complaints about Bloomex.”

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the Code of Practice requires licensees to present factual material accurately in broadcasting news and current affairs programs.

“This breach is an important reminder to broadcasters of their responsibilities to not distort statements made by third parties,” O’Loughlin said.

Several other allegations of inaccuracy were not in breach of the Code.

As a result of the breach, The ACMA and Seven Adelaide have agreed to train staff on the Code, and Seven Adelaide also made corrections to the statement on the Today Tonight Website.

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