November 1, 2023 3 min read


Seven Network Disobeys Online Advertising Rules, says ACMA

According to an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Seven Network Operations Ltd has breached the country’s gambling ad regulations

The probe of the Authority uncovered that Seven West Media’s Seven Network Operations Ltd (Seven) has failed to comply with the country’s gambling advertising regulations. 

Not the First Breach

On December 12, 2022, Seven aired a gambling ad outside the officially established times allowed during live sports broadcasts on its streaming service. The respective ad was shown at 10:38 am on the demand platform 7plus while an American Football game in the National Football League was airing. 

Gambling ads cannot be displayed to the public while sports events are streamed live between the hours of 5 am and 8:30 pm. This includes a five-minute timeframe both prior to and after the event

This failure to comply with the online gambling ad regulations followed the authority’s previous formal warning given to the same network two months prior to the December breach, in regards to a similar problem

The ACMA, for which the minimization of gambling harm still represents a compliance priority in 2023-2024, has issued a $13,320 penalty for Seven. This is the maximum amount that the independent Commonwealth statutory authority responsible for regulating communications and media services Down Under Australia is allowed to apply for such breaches. 

Australians, “Extremely Concerned” About High Exposure to Ads

ACMA’s chair, Nerida O’Loughlin, expressed Australians’ concerns regarding the high “level of exposure to gambling advertising” in live sports coverage via all types of platforms and broadcasters. O’Loughlin further explained that the ACMA would like to see broadcasters make use of “robust systems and processes and associated assurance mechanisms” that would help them better comply with the current regulations.

In connection to the Seven breach, the ACMA explained that they were reassured that the streaming of the respective gambling ad in December “was an isolated event” and that the media company already has a series of ”adequate” mitigation measures in place meant to prevent similar incidents. 

These measures include additional training and oversight, among others. The ACMA has also been informed by Seven that the said measures can successfully and effectively “ensure future compliance,” adding that they do not need to implement any other measures. 

O’Loughlin, however, commented that in the context of the repeated breaches made by Seven, they will continue to keep a close eye on the way they comply with the rules to ensure what they are saying is valid. 

In mid-October, the ACMA published its Gambling Advertising in Australia: Placement and Spending report that showcased the persistence of gambling advertisements between May 2022 and April 2023.

According to the report, more than one million gambling ads were aired on free-to-air TV and metro radio.

Earlier this week, we spoke about SBS, another popular broadcasting network in Australia, and its revolutionary On-Demand TV app feature that will allow viewers to opt out of receiving certain ads starting next year. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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