The Euthanasia spot TV stations refused to air


Screen shot 2010-09-13 at 4.46.55 PM.pngThis ad was created by The Works, Sydney on behalf of lobby group Exit International, and was set to launch yesterday but was refused permission to go to air by Free TV Australia’s Commercial Advice (CAD) service.

The spot, shot by The Works partner Kevin Macmillan, aims to make people think about the power of choice. The completed ad was due to premiere in Brisbane on Sunday between 8.30 and 9.30pm during Bones.

After winning The Pitch challenge on Gruen Transfer in July with a campaign to sell compulsory euthanasia for the over-80s, The Works, Sydney were invited to share their strategic approach with Exit International.

On Friday, 6 August, The Works partner Kevin Macmillan addressed theSydney chapter meeting of Exit International, the voluntary euthanasiaadvocacy group founded by Dr Philip Nitschke PhD, MD.

Macmillan’stalk covered how the agency arrived at the creative approach shownin the Gruen spot, the nature of voluntary versus non-voluntaryeuthanasia, and national reaction to the segment. The campaign on GruenTransfer stirred some heated comments from the community.

Statement from Free TV Australia:

Exit International Advertisement

•    Commercial free-to-air television broadcasters provide their services under a public licence and are subject to a range of strict rules about what can and cannot be shown on television.

•    The Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice states that material which promotes or encourages suicide will invariably be unsuitable for television.

•    Compliance with the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice is a condition of broadcasters’ licences, breach of which would expose them to significant penalties.

•    Free TV Australia expresses no view on the ethical and legal debate surrounding voluntary euthanasia and has no interest in suppressing debate on this sensitive issue.

•    The decision by Commercials Advice to withdraw classification for the Exit International advertisement was based purely on a view that the broadcasting regulator, the ACMA, would be able to investigate and uphold a complaint that the advertisement was in breach of section 2.17.5 of the Code of Practice. Commercials Advice have obtained independent legal advice which supports this view.

•    Broadcasters take very seriously their obligations under the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. The Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice is reviewed periodically and is subject to a wide-ranging public consultation process to ensure it adequately reflects community attitudes.