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Quality Control on Ads on SBS

Estimates & Committees
Scott Ludlam 18 Jan 2012

Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications
Answers to Senate Estimates Questions on Notice
Supplementary Budget Estimates Hearings October 2011
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

Senator Ludlam asked:
Senator LUDLAM: There used to be some quality control and now we have anything-Harvey Norman screaming at us at random intervals. The station used to exercise quality control. When did that drop?

Mr Ebeid: I am not sure I could tell you that. I think we have always had the same quality controls on our ads. You have probably just seen an increase in some different advertisers.
Mr Meagher: I am certainly not aware of any policy change in relation to that. There has been a discretion. There are certain products. For example, we will not advertise the 1800 sex lines and various things like that. In terms of retail advertisers and the like, I do not think we have ever explicitly said that we would or would not take particular people. It is more a case of what the market throws up.
Senator LUDLAM: That is interesting. That is not what I was aware of.
Mr Meagher: I can double-check whether there was a policy prior to my time, but that was five years ago.
SBS will not broadcast advertisements that do not have a Classification Number (CAD Number) issued by Free TV Australia's commercial advice service. All advertisements are required to comply with various advertising industry codes.
The SBS Codes of Practice state: ‘All decisions regarding commercial revenue are subject to the overriding principle that the integrity of the SBS Charter and SBS's editorial independence are paramount and shall not be compromised in any way. As with all programming, SBS reserves the exclusive right to determine what is broadcast on SBS services" (Code 5).
SBS's internal editorial guidelines provide that: "SBS retains the right to refuse to broadcast any advertisement or sponsorship announcement which fails to meet its quality standards". This provision relates to technical quality.

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