A definition of advertising: "The act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.: to get more customers by advertising."
By using conventional broadcasting channels to advertise the Vote Compass, the ABC, in turn, provided access to the biased coverage within the Vote Compass: Proof of the ABC’s Vote Compass Bias?
That biased coverage (1) advertised (for example) the name of the Wikileaks Party but concealed the name of the Stable (now Sustainable) Population Party under the description "other"; despite the latter having more candidates and arguably having a broader impact on the 30 election issues. The Election Issues List also (2) advertised 30 election issues but omitted the Population Growth Management election issue; identified as a Top 15 election issue by the Essential Report, 23 July 2013.
Both these acts constituted advertising of one political party, or parties and political issues at the expense of another party and its political issue(s).
Over 1 million Voters who accessed the Vote Compass were subjected to this advertising. This would be between 7% and 10% of the voting public.
Extracts from ABC Editorial Policy Document
"The ABC Editorial Policies apply to all content produced, commissioned, acquired or otherwise obtained by the ABC for broadcast or publication by the ABC on platforms and through services operated by the ABC, or by the ABC on platforms and through services operated by third parties. The ABC Editorial Policies do not apply to the activities of ABC Commercial except to the extent that ABC Commercial exercises editorial control over content for broadcast or publication by the ABC which has not been already broadcast or published by the ABC. In all its activities, ABC Commercial must operate in a manner consistent with maintaining the independence and integrity of the ABC."
Section 11.7 of the Editorial Policy states:
"Product placement and other forms of embedded or surreptitious advertising are prohibited."
Will the ABC now be called to account for prohibited political advertising throughout the 2013 Federal Election campaign?
Quite apart from this, complaints were also submitted to the ABC, over years, about the way its broadcasts limited the Carbon Tax debate to discussion of a range of financial schemes to reduce emissions, without also discussing the prime cause of emissions growth (aka population growth). A fact cited in these complaints was that in the 20 years BEFORE introduction of the Carbon Tax both fossil fuel based emissions and population had grown roughly 32%. This rate of growth was far higher than the rate of reduction that any of the proposed emissions reduction schemes could achieve in Australia.
The ABC was made aware of all these facts before the Carbon Tax legislation was passed in 2011, but still it supported misrepresentation of the Carbon Tax facts.
The Carbon Tax aspect of my complaints was analogous to complaining that the ABC had broadcast repeatedly for over 5+ years that the only way to control obesity was by exercise, when the truth is that the amount eaten also influences weight gain.
Imagine the fat people's class action lawsuit. The ABC wouldn't stand a chance.
But when it comes to one of the biggest humanitarian, social, environmental and economic challenges facing Australia today, the ABC can broadcast whatever it pleases and remain unaccountable for any lack of editorial integrity. An obvious example of this is ongoing omission or concealment of the population growth management issue from public policy debate.
Will a public apology be forthcoming that is disseminated as far and wide as the Vote Compass and the biased ABC Carbon Tax Debate were disseminated over the last 5+ years? Or will the ABC continue to get off "Scott-free" (excuse the pun)?