Grant Broadcasters in hot water for running anti-vax ads for Clive Palmer

Former Editor & Content Director

A number of Grant Broadcasters’ radio stations in Queensland have been accused of putting the COVID-19 public health response at risk by running vague anti-vaccination ads endorsed by businessman and one-time politician Clive Palmer.

The ads have been heard across stations including Zinc and Hot 91 on the Sunshine Coast and Hot Tomato on the Gold Coast.

The audio, which can be heard below, says: “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.”

In the audio heard by Radio Today, there doesn’t appear to be an alternative offered or a call to action, however Palmer has previously taken out multiple newspaper ads to promote the use of malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine and has been critical of the perceived risks of the COVID-19 vaccines.

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.

The ads were picked up online with a number of consumers and commentators taking issue with the message being broadcast at a crucial point in Australia’s vaccine rollout.

The advertising industry in Australia is self-regulated, however most subscribe to the voluntary Code of Ethics from the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), which is enforced by Ad Standards.

The Code of Ethics “requires that advertising must not depict content that would encourage or condone unhealthy or unsafe behaviour having regard to Prevailing Community Standards”, and also that “advertising shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety”.

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), meanwhile, mainly focuses on making sure advertising messages are packaged as such, with its Code of Practice focused on transparency.

“Advertisements broadcast by a Licensee must be presented in such a manner that a reasonable listener is able to identify them, at the time of the broadcast, as advertising material,” it says.

Some listener feedback based on Hot 91’s advertisements 

The AANA, CRA and Grant Broadcasters were contacted for comment, however none had replied at time of publication.

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Recent comments (7)
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7 Jun 2021 - 1:58 pm

Just because a radio station plays an ad for erectile dysfunction, doesn’t mean I have to go out and buy the little blue pill. People have choice and different viewpoints. Clive Palmer should be able to pay to put his views forward if he wants to, regardless whether you agree with him or not.

Anything for a buck broadcasters
7 Jun 2021 - 2:45 pm

The rules need only apply
when convenient- rich old white people.

7 Jun 2021 - 4:45 pm

@Mark: Yes – you are right. If a client via a radio station advertises a little blue bill, it does not mean you have to go out and take it.
However, morally & legally, the client should not be making claims that are not supported by evidence.
Medical advice regarding vaccines & viruses – especially during an international pandemic – should be coming from qualified medical professionals & epidemiologists, not failed politicians.

7 Jun 2021 - 7:28 pm

Evil statistics hey. I mean, what are you going to do ‍♂️

8 Jun 2021 - 7:24 am

This is just really embarrassing. Why spread this rubbish?

Oh wait, money!

8 Jun 2021 - 3:06 pm

Mark, there’s a difference between playing an advertisement for erectile dysfunction and playing an advertisement that does not represent the facts, there have not been 210 deaths caused by the COVID vaccination, although the advertisement doesn’t state the vaccine caused the deaths the intent to make the listener believe the deaths were caused by the vaccination is clear.

9 Jun 2021 - 9:59 am

@Mark we dont have a global pandemic killing people because men can’t get boners. This ad is incorrect, morally bankrupt and dangerous to put to air in the climate we are living in


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