Industry bodies deny responsibility for Clive Palmer’s anti-vax ads currently running on radio

Former Editor & Content Director

The two industry bodies with oversight on the content and advertising of commercial radio in Australia have said they can do nothing about Clive Palmer’s anti-vaccination ads currently running on radio throughout Queensland.

The ads caught consumer attention over the weekend after running across a number of Grant Broadcasters stations.

The ads don’t appear to have a specific call-to-action, however do cast doubt over the COVID-19 vaccine and provide claims about vaccine-related deaths which has been debunked.

Radio Today has since attempted to get clarification from Grant Broadcasters over its responsibilities in airing the ads, but has not had a response.

A Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) spokesperson, meanwhile, simply said broadcasters are required to ensure political advertising includes the correct authorisation tags, and claimed “radio has no role in regulating the content of political ads such as this”.

Ad Standards, the wider advertising industry’s self-regulation body, also alluded to its lack of power in this instance.

“Ad Standards deals with complaints about advertising and marketing under the codes it administers. It is not able to consider complaints about truth and accuracy in political advertisements or statements about social or political issues. We suggest that members of the public who have concerns about Mr Palmer’s statements get in touch with the Federal Department of Health or their member of Parliament,” a spokesperson said.

Palmer himself is no longer a politician, however he has continued agitating with his Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party. The party contested the 2019 Federal election, spending $60 million on advertising, but was unsuccessful in gaining any seats.

In September last year, the Australian Electoral Commission issued a notice to Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party warning it was considering deregistering the party on the grounds that it has ceased to have at least 500 members.

The ads in question don’t actually mention Palmer’s political affiliations, but rather just say: “Australia has had one COVID-19 associated death in 2021. But the TGA reports that there’s been 210 deaths and over 24,000 adverse reactions after COVID vaccinations. Authorised by Clive Palmer, Brisbane.”

Both the ABC and the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) have previously dismissed the claim that COVID-19 vaccinations caused 210 deaths. Instead, one death, in April this year, has been linked to the jab.

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No comment
8 Jun 2021 - 9:40 am

That’s interesting, there is a section on the Ad Standards website that details “How do I minimise the risk of my ads breaching community standards at this time of COVID-19?”

It clearly states that “Advertisers should ensure that the content of their ad aligns with current community standards and Australian Government health guidelines.

To minimise the risk of your ad being complained about, ask the question: does this content meet current community standards?”

I would argue, airing claims that have been repeatedly dismissed and debunked by actual medical professionals would fall into this category.

Connect the dots
8 Jun 2021 - 10:41 am

No comment is never the correct answer.

Who is their Marketing/PR agency?

8 Jun 2021 - 5:05 pm

Can you please name the spokesperson or people who have said that “there’s no way of measuring what’s true in advertising”? When it comes to vaccinations there’s only scientific fact. The statement discounts 100s of years of medical and scientific advancements. These people prove themselves to be as intelligent as the bozo who told us he was building another Titanic 20 years ago.

8 Jun 2021 - 5:34 pm

Even before industry regulations are considered, the broadcaster should always put Ethical Behaviour above all else.

Every broadcaster has the right to refuse advertising.

In this matter, ad dollars seem more important than ethics and honesty.

How disappointing.

I decline to answer
8 Jun 2021 - 5:43 pm

Its about time this imbecile zhut his mouth onec and for all and pay all those he owes money to.

Kevin Jones
8 Jun 2021 - 7:53 pm

“radio has no role in regulating the content of political ads such as this”. That is to say, the platform has no business in what’s on it. Why have a body of push overs then. Shall I ask ray Martin that too. Money wasting slime

nick bartlett
9 Jun 2021 - 9:27 am

Clive seems to keep taking the placebo pill each morning. He needs two of the red ones and fast.

What was I thinking?
9 Jun 2021 - 10:35 am

Is it fair to say that self regulation hasn’t worked in any industry? Look at the banks… So why are we surprised that this issue has arisen in the radio industry? Countless governments in the drive to save money or cut red tape, push all sorts of industries into self regulation. So why is anyone surprised that in our industry, the dollar has ruled over an issue that the majority in the community ethically are against?

The other question that should be asked at station level is, how was the content not questioned when in carting/ingest?

Kyle gets the last laugh
9 Jun 2021 - 10:52 am

The issue with ethics is, you have to have some to use them.

You can blame many things here.

Centralised traffic, centralised production. Hiring the cheapest person not the best person for the job. Self regulation.

You could also blame a revenue first culture that saw dollar signs over public interest. Sure, it’s not illegal. Doesn’t make it right.

Burman in Brisbane
15 Jun 2021 - 7:43 pm

Palmer’s very much against vaccines because he’s desperate to get rid of his stockpile of Hydroxycloroquine perhaps?


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