Advertising on ABC TV - FABC Press Release 9 December 2000

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Media Release 9 December 2000 For immediate release

ABC - Advertising, Badge engineering and Commercialism

A 'promotion' currently on high rotation at ABC television announces:

" ABC Films now brings Thomas the Tank Engine to the big screen .In cinemas December 14."

The film, "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" , stars actors Peter Fonda and Alec Baldwin, but the 'promotion' does not disclose any Australian connection with the film apart from the fact that it is said to be brought to the big screen by "ABC Films".

"If it looks like an advertisement, sounds like an advertisement, chances are, it is an advertisement", said national spokesperson for Friends of the ABC, Darce Cassidy.

"Starring a raft of American and English actors this highly promoted film appears to have no discernable Australian content, other than an "ABC badging" and, a possible showing on ABC television, long after its commercial release for Christmas 2000"

"Once again, the good ABC name is being used to promote a commercial film release in competition with other childrens' movies for this Christmas holiday period," Mr Cassidy said.

"Is this film a genuine ABC production, or is it a marketing ploy, a version of "badge engineering" whereby the ABC gets paid to put its name on someone else's product, and then advertise it?

"Section 31 of the ABC Act prohibits the ABC from broadcasting advertisements. Section 8 of the Act requires the ABC Board to ensure that the ABC does not contravene the Act. The Board must comply with the Act immediately." ..ends

Contact: Darce Cassidy, National Spokesperson, Friends of the ABC 08 8362 5183, 0412 685 178 If unavailable: Glenys Stradijot, Campaign Manager 0409 110 411

-- Anonymous, December 08, 2000


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