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7NEWS Spotlight promo breaches accuracy requirements


The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found promotions for a 7NEWS Spotlight program about vaping broadcast by Channel Seven Sydney Pty Limited breached the accuracy rules in the Commercial TV Code of Practice.

The ACMA investigation found the program promotions inaccurately portrayed a participant as a representative of the tobacco industry. The ACMA found this to be inaccurate as there was not sufficient evidence to support the assertion that the participant, a doctor specialising in smoking cessation, is a representative of the tobacco industry.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said promotions for news and current affairs programs are subject to the same rules in the code of practice as the programs themselves.

“The brevity of program promotions do not exempt them from the broadcast rules,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“Special care must be taken around the accurate portrayal of program participants, including in broadcasts of a shorter format.”

Following the ACMA’s investigation and breach finding, Seven has agreed to delete the promotions from its website and social media channels, and not rebroadcast them. Seven has also reminded its promotions team of its obligations around accuracy under the code of practice.

MR 14/2024

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