The body that represents commercial TV networks has emphatically denied it blocked the broadcast of a Father’s Day commercial on the grounds it was a political intervention in ‘s same-sex marriage debate.
Dads4Kids, which describes itself as a father’s advocacy group and has campaigned against same-sex relationships in the past, accused Free TV of rejecting a new ad that highlights the relationship between fathers and their children.
In a statement, the group said it released the commercials in the lead-up to each Father’s Day as a “gentle encouragement to n dads and an affirmation that they are an important figure in the lives of their children”.
Suggesting this year’s ad would no longer be broadcast, Dads4Kids spokesman Ben Pratt said they had been told the material was deemed to be political.
He denied there was a political motive in the material and said “not everything is about same-sex marriage”.
But Free TV dismissed claims it had “blocked or banned” the commercial.
“The advertiser was requested, but declined, to add an identification tag to the commercial to comply with Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act,” the organisation said in a statement on Saturday.
“The Broadcasting Services Act requires broadcasters to ensure that commercials that contain ‘political matter’ identify the body responsible for the commercial, including the speakers in the commercial.”
Free TV said political matter was defined as anything appearing to “comment on, encourage participation in or attempt to influence a certain outcome within a political process”.
It noted recent decisions by regulatory body the n Communications and Media Authority required broadcasters to consider the content of websites referred to in commercials when deciding if they contained political matter. In its ad, Dads4Kids provides a link to its website dads4kids成都模特佳丽招聘.au.
The group has now shut down the site and its social media presence – saying it was a “preventative step” to protect itself from vilification – but a recently archived version shows material on same-sex marriage.
In the past, Dads4Kids has described gay and lesbian relationships as examples of “gender disorientation pathology”, labelling recognition of them an “attack on the rights of the children of “.
The n reported Dads4Kids had “inadequate resources” to recut the commercial with the required identification and authorisation message at the end.
The group said it had not intended to enter the same-sex marriage debate ahead of the nationwide postal survey but predicted it would nonetheless be “subject to the same vilification…meted out to those who have stuck their head above the parapet on same-sex marriage”.