Ad watchdog won’t consider marriage ad complaints

Australia’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Bureau has announced it most likely won’t accept complaints about advertisements rolled out as part of the campaigns surrounding the marriage postal survey.

The ASB said most of the advertising would be considered ‘political advertising’ something that is not within their purview.

The board said it would look into advertising that was deemed to be informational and educational but not messages that were overtly political.

The organisations suggests that people who see advertisements that they hare offended by might consider contacting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) but notes that they will most likely only consider advertisements that are related to trade.

The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) does have some authority in relation to political advertising for elections in print and television, but does not look into online advertising. Their guidelines do not cover defamation or false and inaccurate information.

The Advertising Standard Bureau recommends that people contact their local federal member of parliament if they come across advertising material that they are concerns about.

Concern about the nature of the public debate has been raised by both the YES and NO campaigns. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated repetitively that he believes that vast majority of Australians will be respectful during the three month debate.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten told parliament last week that he considered the PM to responsible for any hurtful comments made in the campaign.

“I hold you responsible for every hurtful bit of filth that this debate will unleash – not because the Prime Minister has said it, not because he agrees to it, he clearly doesn’t. But because the Prime Minister has licensed this debate.” Shorten said.

OIP Staff, Image: advertisement from The Marriage Alliance. 

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