The following section describes the complaint process under the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice (the Code).
The Code regulates program content on commercial free-to-air television, including:
• program classification;
• accuracy, fairness and respect for privacy in news and current affairs;
• non-program time on television; and
• placement of commercials and program promotions.
1. Complaints about something you have seen on the ABC, SBS or pay TV
The ABC, SBS and pay TV are covered by their own codes of practice. Any feedback concerning programming or advertising on these networks needs to be referred directly to the relevant station.
2. Complaints about advertising
Complaints about the content of an advertisement need be directed to the Advertising Standards Bureau.
3. Complaints about programming and scheduling
Commercial free-to-air networks value audience feedback as an important way of keeping in touch with community opinion. If your feedback concerns a particular programming matter not covered by the Code, such as general scheduling queries or general feedback you should contact the relevant station. Click here for contact details for each of the commercial free-to-air television stations.
4. Complaints under the Code of Practice
The Code of Practice sets out a formal complaints process for matters covered by the Code. If you believe a station has acted contrary to the Code of Practice you should follow the steps below. If you would like more information about the complaints process please see Section 7 of the Current Code of Practice.
You can either:
a) Write a letter (send via post or fax. It is advisable that complaints sent via post use Registered Mail) to the relevant station, or
b) lodge a Code Complaint via the Electronic Lodgement System.
Stations will provide a substantive written response to a complaint about matters covered by the Code if the complaint is received within 30 days of broadcast. To trigger the formal complaints procedures for alleged breaches of the Code of Practice your complaint must be received within 30 days of broadcast.
What information should your complaint include?
Your complaint should include the following information:
• Your name, address and telephone number
• The name of the program, advertiser/product or program promoted
• The station on which you saw or heard the program/advertisement
• The date and time you saw or heard it
• Reasons for your concerns
When should you expect to receive a reply?
The Code requires a station to respond to you within 30 working days of receiving a complaint about a matter covered by the Code of Practice.
What can you do if you don’t receive a reply or you do not consider the reply to be adequate?
If the station has not written back to you within 60 days or you do not consider the response to be adequate, you may send your complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA will need a copy of your original complaint to the station, as well as a copy of the station’s reply.
Documents for download
Current Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice - 1 January 2010 (incorporating revisions to July 2013)
The content of free-to-air commercial television is regulated under the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice which has been developed by Free TV Australia and registered with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
Related PDF document
For information about the proposed new Code click here.
Loudness in Advertisements
Broadcasters are aware that community concern exists in relation to the perceived loudness of advertisements compared with adjacent programs. For more information click here or for a copy of the relevant Operational Practice (OP 48) refer below.
Related PDF document