Media ReleaseFor release: July 4, 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby said it was disappointed at the recommendations handed down in a report by a House of Representatives committee into the regulation of billboard and outdoor advertising.
ACL’s Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs’
report on “Reclaiming Public Space” had missed an opportunity for significant reform of outdoor advertising.
“The committee had an opportunity to bring significant change into outdoor advertising and billboard standards but instead has given the industry a second chance,” he said.
“Although the recommendation to introduce a code of practice for out-of-home advertising is positive, the community can have no confidence that industry will abide by it given its previous track record.
“The industry thrives on controversy to make money, such as the 2000 Windsor Smith ad which generated significant publicity for the company,” he said.
Mr Shelton said the committee’s reasoning not to introduce a G-Rating to outdoor advertising didn’t address community concern about the content of billboards.
“The purpose of calling for outdoor advertising to be G-Rated is for the industry to consider children will see the contents on a billboard and to ensure that appropriate content is in the public space,” Mr Shelton said.
“The committee appears to have missed this point when it focused its reasoning on the difference between films and outdoor advertising rather than the potential for consistent standards to be applied across media platforms. [i]
“The call for G-Rated outdoor advertising is to classify the content of the billboard and outdoor advertisement and to keep it in line with what you’d classify as G in a general sense,” he said.
Mr Shelton said he hoped the Australian Law Reform Commission would address the concerns in its extensive review of the National Classification Scheme due to report in January 2012.
See 3.55 in http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/spla/outdoor%20advertising/report/Chapter3.pdf