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2GB breaks commercial disclosure rules

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Radio station 2GB has breached commercial radio disclosure rules during broadcasts of The Alan Jones Breakfast Show by not informing its listeners about a commercial agreement the program had with The Star Entertainment Group.

An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found 2GB failed to disclose The Star’s sponsorship of the program on multiple occasions in September and October 2019 when Jones discussed the Ritz-Carlton development, a project commissioned by The Star.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the comments breached the Commercial Radio Current Affairs Disclosure Standard.

“Licensees and presenters must let their audience know if a sponsor has a commercial interest in material being broadcast that is directly favourable to the sponsor.

"These rules exist so that audiences are properly informed and are able to make up their own minds about what they hear on commercial radio.

"Commercial radio disclosure rules have been in place since 2000, and it is disappointing that 2GB failed to meet their obligations during these broadcasts,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

The ACMA has given 2GB a remedial direction which will require relevant staff including presenters, producers, and commercial and sales staff to undertake formal training on the requirements of the Disclosure Standard.

2GB must also report back to the ACMA on what processes it has put in place to ensure it makes disclosures on-air and online, as required.

If a licensee does not comply with a remedial direction, the ACMA may seek civil penalties.

The standard requires that disclosure announcements must be made at the time of, and as part of, the broadcast. The licensee must also publish specified information about current commercial agreements on an online register on its website.

MR 15/2021

For more information, please contact ACMA Media on 0438 375 776 or media@acma.gov.au.

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