Channel 7 Sydney “inaccurately portrayed me as a representative of Big Tobacco”

Posted on June 13, 2024 By Colin

THE CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM 7NEWS Spotlight breached the Commercial TV Code of Practice by inaccurately portraying me as a representative of Big Tobacco. The breach occurred in relation to the episode titled Killers in the Mist which was broadcast by Channel Seven Sydney Pty Limited nationally on 28 May 2023.

This was the finding of an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).  Their report was published on the ACMA website today here.

ACMA concluded that the ordinary reasonable viewer would have incorrectly assumed I represented the tobacco industry based on the material presented in the broadcast.

“The ACMA found this to be inaccurate as there was not sufficient evidence to support the assertion that the participant, a doctor specialising in smoking cessation, is a representative of the tobacco industry:

ACMA issued a media release today, which states

"Seven has agreed to delete the promotions from its website and social media channels, and not rebroadcast them. Seven has also reminded its promotions team of its obligations around accuracy under the code of practice."

Thirteen months after the program was broadcast, Channel 7 finally admitted it was wrong on 20 June 2024:


ACMA Investigation Report, Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd (Seven) 13 June 2024

ACMA media release - 7NEWS Spotlight accuracy, 13 June 2024

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