Choking it. How free is free-to-air TV?

Press release - 16 May, 2013

Sydney, Friday 17 May 2013: Channel 7 and SBS have followed Channel 9’s lead and banned a controversial Greenpeace recycling advert.

Despite clearance and classification by Free TV- the industry regulatory body – a Channel 7 representative called the ad ‘inappropriate’ before issuing the ban order.
In just over a week, the ad – which fingers fizzy drinks giant Coca-Cola for blocking recycling legislation – has been viewed over 850,000 times on YouTube.
“None of the channels have clarified why an ad that has passed their own industry body’s standards is unfit to air,” said Greenpeace Campaigner Reece Turner. “The most logical conclusion is that the networks fear losing advertising revenue from Coca-Cola.”
“Frankly, it’s astounding to find ourselves in a situation where a company that sells fizzy drinks can control what Australians have the right to watch on TV.”
To compound the media blackout, Coca-Cola has further attempted to control the debate by purchasing nearly every conceivable Google Ad Word relating to recycling and cash for containers. It seems the beverage giant has even gone so far as purchasing the search term ‘Greenpeace.’
“With over 80% of Australians in favour of cash for containers scheme (Neilson poll 2012), Coke’s spurious arguments are losing in the court of public opinion,” said Turner. “Now, instead of doing the right thing, the corporation is trying to use its muscle to shut down discussion.”
For more information contact Greenpeace Communications Manager James Lorenz on 0400 376 021