- Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Advertising) Standard 2012 (Advertising Standard) - requires all advertisements to be distinguishable from other program content at the time the advertisement is broadcast
- Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Current Affairs Disclosure) Standard 2012 (Disclosure Standard) - requires the disclosure of particular commercial agreements relevant to current affairs programs
As a result of the Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Compliance Program) Standard Revocation 2012 (PDF), from 1 May 2012 licensees are no longer required to conduct compliance audits and mandatory training as a condition of their licence. However, the ACMA encourages all licensees to maintain compliance practices to ensure staff are aware of obligations under the relevant codes, standards and the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.
The 2012 Standards were made following a comprehensive review by the ACMA of the commercial radio standards which were previously in place.
Unlike codes of practice, compliance with the 2012 Commercial Radio Standards is a condition of a broadcaster's licence. Complaints about alleged breaches of the commercial radio standards can be made directly to the ACMA.
About the 2012 Commercial Radio Standards
The standard applies to all commercial radio broadcasting licensees. The key objective of the standard is to encourage commercial radio broadcasting licensees to respect community standards by ensuring that advertising material is clearly distinguishable from all other programs.
The standard applies to all commercial radio broadcasting licensees who broadcast current affairs programs. The key objective of the standard is to encourage commercial radio broadcasting licensees to be responsive to the need for a fair and accurate coverage of matters of public interest by requiring the disclosure of commercial agreements or other arrangements that have the potential to affect the content of current affairs programs.
Online register of commercial agreements
Under the Disclosure Standard, licensees must publish on a website operated by, or on behalf of, the licensee, a register of commercial agreements. Refer to section 11 of the Disclosure Standard for details of the information that must be included in the online register of commercial agreements.
Following the introduction of this standard, licensees are no longer required to provide to the ACMA particulars of each relevant commercial agreement or changes to such agreements (although the ACMA may request this information at any time).
Background and the 2000 Commercial Radio Standards
The ACMA's precursor, the Australian Broadcasting Authority, determined three program standards for commercial radio licensees on 21 November 2000.
The determination of the standards followed an inquiry (the 'cash for comment' investigation) that found systemic failure to ensure the effective operation of the industry's self-regulatory codes of practice (see Commercial radio inquiry resource links).
The standards commenced operation on 15 January 2001 and were revoked on 1 May 2012.
The standards were:
- Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Advertising) Standard 2000 - required advertisements to be distinguished from other programs
- Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Current Affairs Disclosure) Standard 2000 - required the disclosure of commercial agreements by presenters of current affairs programs
- Broadcasting Services (Commercial Radio Compliance Program) Standard 2000 - required the establishment of compliance programs by licensees
For further documents and research relevant to the commercial radio standards see the commercial radio standards review page of the ACMA’s website.