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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 70

Question No. 8


Dr Klugman asked the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment, upon notice, on 3 May 1983:

(1) Has the Minister's attention been drawn to an advertisement on page 40 of the National Times of 7-13 November 1982, soliciting advertising, which claims that there are 341,000 readers of that newspaper.

(2) Has the Minister's attention also been drawn to an advertisement on page 38 of the National Times of 7-13 November 1982, soliciting advertising, which claims there are 518,000 readers of that newspaper.

(3) If so, will the Minister refer this matter to the Trade Practices Commission for investigation.


Mr Cohen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Yes.

(3) The Trade Practices Commission has investigated this matter. The Commission has reported that it was of the view, even before the matter was raised with the National Times by the Commission, that it would be difficult to prove a breach of the Trade Practices Act for the reasons that:

the advertisements in which the different readership figures appear show clearly that the readership figures are supported by surveys conducted by two different organisations, Roy Morgan and McNair Anderson; and

the surveys themselves were conducted over different time periods and there is nothing to suggest that the conditions under which the surveys were conducted were the same.

The Commission subsequently contacted the National Times and was informed that the use of the two different figures was due to clerical error. The Commission was satisfied with this explanation and has decided not to take any further action.