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Commercial radio standards

ACMA makes new commercial radio standards (2012)

21 March 2012

ACMA makes new Commercial Radio Standards

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has made new Commercial Radio Standards that strengthen the rules on advertising and the disclosure of commercial influence on commercial radio programs.

‘The new standards begin 1 May and reflect the ACMA’s recent decision to continue regulating both commercial influence in current affairs programs and advertising on commercial radio,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

The standards were developed following the ACMA’s review and extensive consultation with industry and the public seeking comment on the proposed reforms.

‘This reform package strengthens protections for listeners while at the same time reducing the regulatory burden on industry,’ Mr Chapman said.

The ACMA’s reforms to the Disclosure Standard:

  • require disclosure of not only ‘presenter agreements’ (where the presenter has a commercial agreement with a sponsor) but also of some ‘licensee agreements’ (where the presenter has an interest in the licensee company, which in turn has a commercial agreement with a sponsor)

  • allow current affairs presenters more flexibility in how they identify sponsorship arrangements – rather than compelling them to use one of six current scripted statements

  • change the register and formal notifications process so that industry can keep online registers without the need for formal notices to the ACMA.

The ACMA has reformed the Advertising Standard by making it clear that advertising must be distinguishable from other program material at the time of broadcast, rather than later in a segment or program generally.

Finally, in both standards, the definition of 'consideration' has been broadened by including other beneficial and indirect benefits to better capture instances of paid advertising and commercial influence.

The ACMA will also be revoking from 1 May the Compliance Program Standard, which had required commercial radio licensees to undertake compliance education and audits.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or media@acma.gov.au


Last updated: 18 October 2013

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