Channel Seven breaches children’s television standards
Press release from ACMA
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a remedial direction to Seven Network’s licensees broadcasting in the five mainland capital cities for breaching advertising restrictions during children’s programming periods.
The breaches occurred when a Seven Network ‘station identifier’ was broadcast during protected children’s programming periods in October and November 2010. The majority of this identifier was footage taken in an ‘adult sized’ McDonald’s playground which included prominent representations of McDonald’s proprietary characters and McDonald’s brand identifier, ‘the Golden Arches.’
On the basis of its content, the ACMA determined that the station identifier was also an advertisement for McDonald’s.
The Children’s Television Standards 2009 (CTS) bans any advertising during preschool (P) viewing periods and restricts the kinds of advertising that can be run during children’s (C) viewing periods.
The ACMA found that by broadcasting the station identifier, the Seven Network licensees had breached the CTS by:
• Broadcasting an advertisement during a P viewing period
• Broadcasting an advertisement during C viewing periods, that was not clearly distinguishable as an advertisement to a child viewer
• Broadcasting an advertisement during or immediately after ‘C’ viewing periods that promoted commercial products and services by McDonald’s proprietary characters (Grimace and Hamburgler)
‘The ACMA remains serious about the protection of children during children’s programming, particularly given their vulnerability to forms of advertising that are not well signposted or have the potential to be unduly influential,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
The ACMA’s remedial direction requires the five Seven Network licensees to implement a process for reviewing all non-program material that will be broadcast during P programming periods and to conduct specific CTS training for appropriate employees.
Investigation Report 2544-2548 is available on the ACMA website.
The ACMA’s Children Television Standards 2009 and Guidance notes are also available on ACMA website.