Macquarie lose appeal

Staff Writer

The Macquarie Radio Network have failed in their attempt to overturn the new regulations governing the disclosure of advertising agreements. 

In our earlier piece (here) we outlined how ACMA placed the new standards into effect from 1 May, however Macquarie had appealed what has been referred to as the 'Alan Jones loophole'. 

The new regulations require a presenter to reveal not only if they personally have a relationship with a sponsor, but if the radio station does itself. This is designed to address, in particular, the Jones situation where he is a signficant shareholder in the Macquarie Network and therefore was previously exempt on that basis.

Macquarie had said that the new regulations were impossible to comply with, as presenters could not possibly know every commercial arrangement their employer had entered into. They further argued that compliance would cause enormous disruption to the flow of programming.

However, Justice John Griffiths disagreed and dismissed the application by Macquarie and ordered they pay ACMA's legal costs.

In his ruling he said that the new regulation did not ''produce the oppression or capriciousness claimed by the applicants'' but rather achieved a just end, that is; ''the promotion of accuracy and fairness in current affairs programs''.

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