Nine has breached the Commercial TV Industry Code of Practice after broadcasting gambling ads during a kid’s movie on 9GO!
The Australian and Communications Media Authority found six commercials for CrownBet were shown between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm during The Spiderwick Chronicles last September.
Starting at 6.31 pm, the film was classified PG. But the code states that gambling ads must not be broadcast during any program broadcast between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm that is principally directed to children.
“The restriction on gambling adverting was expanded in the 2015 code to address community concern about children’s exposure to betting and gambling advertising,” said acting ACMA Chairman, Richard Bean.
“In this case, the commercials encouraged viewers to use an online betting platform to stake money on the outcome of the 2016 AFL Grand Final and the player who would score the first goal in that match. Since the code came into effect in December 2015, these types of commercials cannot be broadcast in programs principally directed to children, regardless of their classification.”
The breach comes at a time when networks and government are under pressure to reduce or ban gambling ads during Live sport, amid concerns too many children are being exposed to them.
Nine indicated it has taken steps to minimise the likelihood of a repeat offence.
ACMA said as this was the first investigation it has undertaken under a new clause of the Code, it felt the matter had been sufficiently addressed.
Updated: A Nine Spokesperson said: “It is disappointing to be breached as we believe we interpreted the code appropriately. Today’s finding has provided clarity to ensure we protect our partner’s brands when placing their advertisements. We have now refined our placement protocols to reflect the decision.”