Channel 7 character restrictions | ACMA

Channel 7 character restrictions

2 February 2011 

ACMA finds Channel Seven Sydney in breach of popular character restrictions during advertisement in children’s programs

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd (Channel Seven) breached the Children’s Television Standards 2009 (CTS 2009) provisions restricting the use of popular personalities and proprietary characters in endorsing commercial services during Children’s (C) programming periods.

The ACMA investigated Channel Seven Sydney’s broadcast of a Hogs Breath Cafe advertisement which it showed during a C programming period last May. In broadcasting the advertisement, Channel Seven Sydney breached the popular characters and personalities advertising restrictions, which were then a new restriction to the CTS 2009 following an ACMA review. This is the ACMA’s first investigation considering these new provisions.

The advertisement featured two V8 Supercars drivers, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, who the ACMA considered were popular personalities. The advertisement also featured the Hogs Breath Cafe ‘Hogster’ character, which the ACMA considered was a proprietary character. Both the V8 Supercars drivers and the ‘Hogster’ were used in the advertisement to promote or endorse the food service offered by Hogs Breath Cafe.

’The ACMA is serious about the protection of children during children’s programming,’ said ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman. ‘Research shows that the persuasive content of advertisements is enhanced by popular characters and personalities. Accordingly, in the new Children’s Television Standards, the ACMA strengthened advertising restrictions during children’s programs, specifically in the use of popular characters and personalities.’

The ACMA recognises that these popular character provisions are new and that this is the first breach finding of this kind. Channel Seven Sydney has undertaken a range of measures including referring the matter to Commercials Advice (CAD) to re-classify the Hogs Breath advertisement and other advertisements that may not have been compliant with CTS 2009, while ensuring that their internal advertisement scheduling procedures are designed to prevent further errors. Having regard to these factors, the ACMA will not be taking any further action in relation to this investigation.

The Investigation Report 2480 is available on the ACMA website.

The ACMA’s Children Television Standards 2009 and Guidance notes are also available on ACMA website.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Blake Murdoch on (02) 9334 7817, 0411 504 687 or

Last updated: 19 June 2016