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Tuesday, 15 October 1974
Page: 1698

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Has the Minister for the Media seen a report that a senior advertising executive, an awards chairman of the Australian Television Society, has complained that there is a shortage of actors available to appear in television commercials? What is the reason for this shortage and what steps, if any, can be taken to overcome this problem?

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Media) - I have seen the report to which the honourable senator referred. As much as I sympathise with the problem of the advertising industry in this area, I must say frankly that I am personally very delighted to hear that there is, at long last, a shortage of actors in this country. I suggest that the shortage has been brought about as a result of the initiatives taken by this Government since we came into office. This confirms the effectiveness of the measures that the Government has taken to increase opportunities of employment for Australians in the local industry. These measures include the points system which was so much under attack at the time when it was introduced by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board.

If advertisers are worried in this area, at least they have the compensation of knowing that for the first time since 1965- again as a result of the initiatives taken by this Government -according to the annual report of the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations, sets are now being turned on rather than being turned off, thereby bringing advertisers much nearer to market saturation. This means that advertisers may be having difficulty in finding actors for their advertisements, but at least they are getting larger audiences for the advertisements that are being placed and therefore, I would suggest, are getting a better return for their money.

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