Grant Broadcasters in hot water for running anti-vax ads for Clive Palmer
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.
WTF @RadioZincSC ? Playing blatantly misleading anti-vax ads? Just because Clive Palmer offers you money to prostitute yourself, you don't have to do it.
— Michael Pascoe (@MichaelPascoe01) June 5, 2021
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.