10 reasons why there should be no advertising or
sponsorship at the ABC
1. Advertising drives programming: The introduction of advertising
would mean that decisions about the types of programs to be broadcast could be
influenced by their capacity to interest advertisers. Programming decisions
should be driven by a respect for the ABC’s Charter rather than advertising.
2. Advertising drives commissioning: Decisions about the choice of
new programs to be commissioned are likely to be influenced by perceptions
about whether programs will support adverting.
3. Advertising means tamer programming: Advertisers tend to avoid
risk. They are often reluctant to associate their products with contentious
social issues. This is likely to lead to tamer programming decisions.
4. Advertising means less innovation: Advertisers tend to want
established formulae. This is likely to reduce risk taking and the development
of new program forms and styles.
5. Advertising is rating driven: Advertising requires mass markets.
The introduction of advertising would create pressure on the ABC chase for
mass audiences and forgo its specialist broadcasting.
6. Advertising corrupts editorial independence: Program makers must
be able to challenge any idea, institution or vested interest. That lies at
the heart of the independence of the ABC. Advertising means that program
makers may be induced or pressured into ‘going soft’ on subjects that may
offend potential or existing advertisers. Even if program makers are
successful in resisting these pressures, audience may suspect that this is not
7. Advertising doe not necessarily increase real levels of ABC funding.
Advertising revenue is likely to be a substitute for government funding rather
than a source of supplementary funding.
8. Lack of advertising revenue in industry: the soft advertising
market means that fewer dollars will be available to support program making in
the commercial free to air sector.
9. Advertising creates dependency: Once the ABC accepts advertising
dollars, it is likely to become dependent upon that revenue stream, and
immediately loses its independence.
10. ABC audiences have said loud and clear: ‘We Don’t Want
Advertising on Our ABC. Australian audiences have repeatedly and consistently
said that they do not want advertising on their ABC. The Government needs to