Senator Simon Birmingham has called for the withdrawal of a promotion offending many ABC television viewers and for a review of ABC policies relating to such promotions.
Last night, the ABC aired on television a promotion encouraging its audience to vote for ABC identities nominated for the TV WEEK Gold Logie for “most popular personality”.
ABC viewers have complained about both the taste of the promotion’s content and the very purpose behind it, the spoken text of which is:
By the time this ad is finished 854 million people will go hungry, one billion people will live under the poverty line and three ABC stars will be without a Gold Logie.
But you can change the world one step at a time. Vote for gold. Click on ABC-dot-net-dot-AU-slash-TV and follow the links to shower the ABC in gold. Only you can make a difference.
Section 15.4.1 of the ABC’s editorial policies reads:
Section 31 (2) of the ABC Act permits the ABC to broadcast announcements relating to any of its activities including ABC programs, concerts, other public entertainments and services and the range of ABC Enterprises product and activities.
“It is a stretch to argue that urging ABC viewers to vote for Gold Logie nominees constitutes a promotion falling within the intent of the ABC Act, which is to allow it to promote ABC programs and activities likely to be of interest to its audience,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“While I accept that questions of taste can be complex, the outrage expressed by many ABC viewers at both the promotion’s content nature and its very purpose strongly suggests this is not something the ABC’s audience supports.
“I urge the ABC to immediately withdraw the promotion from airing and to review its editorial policies to clarify whether or not this type of promotion is acceptable.”