Commercial radio 'unfairly treated' in gambling advertising ban proposal

By AdNews | 28 June 2023
Ford Ennals, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia.

The commercial radio industry says it's being "unfairly treated" in a ban on gambling advertising proposed by a parliamentary inquiry.

Commercial Radio and Audio (CRA), which represents 260 radio broadcasters across Australia, said it supports the need for action to reduce the harms from gambling but the measures needed to be applied consistently and fairly.

The federal parliamentary committee has released the findings of its inquiry into the harm posed by online gambling, including a recommendation of a phased ban over three years on advertising urging gamblers to place bets

CRA chief executive Ford Ennals said CRA questions why the radio industry has been singled out for a ban on gambling ads during the peak listening times of 8.30-9.00 am and 3.30-4pm in the first phase when it isn't a primary player in gambling advertising and radio has never been held up as one of the main problem areas.

“The important breakfast and drive time sessions are critical to radio stations’ revenue. Children do not drive and when they are in the car, they have parental or adult supervision," said Ennals.

“Measures that are introduced must be balanced against the impact of the loss of revenue on the sustainability of local radio services and the quality of news and local content services stations are able to provide."

Ennals said radio revenues are being hit by the economic downturn and if alternative revenue sources existed, the industry would already be tapping into those.

“We are committed to working constructively with the Government to support the objectives of reducing harms from gambling ads whilst ensuring commercial radio can continue to provide the live news, information and entertainment services that Australians depend on," he said.

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