Hobart’s 7HOFM breaches political advertisement rules
Tasmanian commercial radio station 7HOFM has breached rules about the broadcast of political matter in the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the BSA).
These rules require all political advertisements to include an announcement immediately following the advertisement of ‘required particulars’, including the name of the political party responsible for the advertisement.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation found that the broadcast of three advertisements for Tasmanian Labor candidate Jen Butler on 13 September 2017 breached these rules.
Ms Butler is contesting the seat of Lyons in the next Tasmanian state election. The advertisements broadcast were followed by the announcement: ‘Written, spoken and authorised by Jen Butler, 36 William St, Perth’.
The ACMA found the tags did not comply with the rules as they did not make clear the advertisements were authorised by a political party and did not supply the address of that party’s principal office in Tasmania.
“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.”
In response to the ACMA’s findings, 7HOFM removed the incorrectly tagged advertisements from its broadcast schedule.
The ACMA and 7HOFM have also agreed on actions to avoid further breaches, including the broadcaster revising its procedures for checking political advertisements, especially in cases where they are tagged by the person authorising them.