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Thursday, 15 November 1973
Page: 1825

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Did the Minister for the Media earlier this year express concern that payola was possibly being used to promote records and other products on radio and television? Did the Minister take any action to carry out an investigation into this matter? If so, what was the nature of the inquiries? As a result of the inquiries, has the Minister any additional information for the Senate?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) Because of the developments that were taking place and found to be in existence in some parts of the United States of America and the United Kingdom I determined that this matter should be investigated in Australia. I referred it to the Australian Broadcasting Control Board for inquiry and report to me. The Broadcasting Control Board has in fact conducted an investigation, and it has reported to me that because individual station managements are invariably closely involved in the selection of the record play lists it is a rare situation in Australia for disc jockeys to be solely responsible for the selection of the musical items for the stations involved. It would therefore appear from the investigations conducted by the Broadcasting Control Board that here in Australia the apparent rigid management controls of program content are proving an adequate safeguard against payola.

There is another practice, colloquially known as plugola, which is the practice of on-air personalities giving advertising plugs to goods and services, including musical recordings, for which they could receive some personal consideration. The Board has recently issued a circular letter to all station managements on the matter drawing to their attention the undesirability of the practice of ad-libbing in the presentation of advertisements as this could lead to overcommercialisation. As the honourable senator would know, earlier this year I requested the Board to take action against any stations that engaged in over-commercialisation.

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