The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has recommended ending the political ad blackout on TV & radio, currently mandatory three days before an election.
The Committee has noted that the current blackout “does nothing to stop broader electioneering on those days. Moreover, many voters cast their votes before election day, and voters need not be shielded from electioneering in order to make well-considered votes.”
Industry lobby group Free TV Australia has long advocated for its removal, which impacts network revenue, when the same rules do not apply to online media.
CEO Bridget Fair, said: “The election advertising blackout is arcane and outdated and we fully support the committee’s recommendation to get rid of it.
“The restriction was introduced more than a quarter of a century ago and has been made redundant by changes in the media industry, in particular, the rise of online media. It’s farcical that broadcasters have to adhere to the three-day blackout, while the unregulated digital platforms can run ads right up to – and on – election day.
“It makes absolutely no sense that come election day, the only place you won’t find a political ad is on television or radio,” she said.
Meanwhile can they also recommended the removal of those stupid political ads hitting us every ad break lately (I’m avoiding naming them)?