Australia's Channel Seven breaches children TV standards regulations by broadcasting McDonald's advertisement

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) ruled that Australia's Channel Seven has broken television regulations by showing a 15-second McDonald's advertisement during a children's program.

The advertisement, a playground campaign, was shown 72 times in October and November 2010 during television broadcasts in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth.

The DDB ad agency and OMD media agency were involved in the campaign's development.

The advertisement was marketed as a network promotion but did not feature Channel Seven. The ACMA ruled that the advertisement was for the restaurant as the footage included the golden arches, and characters Grimace and Hamburglar.

The campaign was filmed at Customs House in Sydney’s Circular Quay.

The 2009 Children’s Television Standards prohibits advertising during preschool viewing periods and restricts it during children’s viewing periods. ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said: "The ACMA remains serious about the protection of children during children’s programming, particularly given their vulnerability to forms of advertising that are not well signposted or have the potential to be unduly influential." A Channel Seven Spokesman said, "We accept ACMA's finding and are implementing steps as discussed with the regulator to improve our processes.”

McDonald’s has agreed with the ACMA about the placement of the advertisement. "McDonald's Australia is extremely disappointed that the identifier was placed during C and P viewing periods," a McDonald's spokesperson stated to AdNews. "This advertisement was not produced by McDonald’s but was produced and placed by Channel Seven. ... We take very seriously our commitment to responsible advertising where children are concerned."

Channel Seven was not fined by the ACMA. The channel must implement a review process all non-program material that will be broadcast during P programs.


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