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 Code of Practice.

When making a complaint you do not need to indicate which section of the Code is relevant but you do need to provide the broadcaster with enough specific information about the issue to allow them to properly respond.

You can then either:

a) lodge your Code Complaint via the Electronic Lodgement System; or

b) Write a letter to the relevant station (send via post. It is advisable that complaints sent via post use Registered Mail)

Complaints made under the Code of Practice must be received within 30 days of the 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; or the name of the brand/product being advertised; or the name of the program being promoted
  • The station on which you saw or heard the program or advertisement or promotion
  • 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.

You may not receive a response to your complaint if it:

  • Is frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of the Code process;
  • Is offensive or vulgar;
  • Is the second or later complaint in a series of complaints from an individual person or series and does not raise new or distinct issues; or
  • If your complaint expressly states that a response is not required.

Under the Code, a broadcaster is not required to respond to these complaints.

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.

The Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice outlines the process for viewer complaints.

For more information download a copy of 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 matter on television.
  • Placement of commercials and program promotions.

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