A marriage equality ad broadcast during The Bolt Report on Sky News has been found to be in breach of the Broadcasting Services Act.

The marriage equality promo, which included a 30-second ad during a program break and a 13-second information ticker alongside news headlines, did not include the name of the person or organisation who authorised the broadcast, which is required under the Broadcasting Services Act for political ads.

The 30-second promo ended by encouraging viewers to call for a parliamentary vote on marriage equality.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found the ad to be of a political matter, because it tried to influence public opinion on marriage equality. Foxtel, which broadcasts Sky, did not dispute the ACMA’s findings, saying the breach was inadvertent.

“Foxtel has discussed the process for the approval of political matter with Sky News and is comfortable that controls are in place to minimise the risk of future errors like this,” a spokesman for the television company said.

The breach is the second in a month against a TV network for not broadcasting who it was that authorised the broadcast of political ads. Network Ten in Perth was found to be in breach of the same clause last month over an ad for the Not Born Yet campaign by Emily’s Voice, a pro-life organisation. Ten had argued that the ad was not political advertising, which the ACMA found not to be correct. — Emily Watkins

Peter Fray

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