Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said he is confident the state will be able to find a solution to combat the widespread grey advertising in the coming months.
The Premier’s comments come as the Victorian Advertising Standards Authority is examining how to crack down on grey advertising after the ABC’s “60 Minutes” reported the widespread practice of using advertisements that appeared to be from commercial businesses.
In a statement released today, Mr Andrews said the Government had been working with the ACCA to address the grey advertising issue and the State Government’s approach to combating grey advertising was working.
“While the ACCC is investigating some of the grey ads and we continue to work closely with them to find the best solutions, we know that a lot of effort is required to tackle this problem,” Mr Andrews added.
“The Government is committed to working closely with the industry and ensuring that businesses are aware of the consequences of their actions and the implications of their conduct.”
Mr Andrews said while the state was committed to addressing grey advertising, it was not yet in a position to announce any new laws to combat it.
“We will be announcing new legislation to combat grey advertising during the summer,” he said.
“But this is only the beginning of our work to address this issue and ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.”
Grey advertising is a practice in which businesses pay for advertisements to appear on television, radio, print and social media, but do not appear in the ads themselves.
Grey advertising can be a huge drain on local advertising budgets, according to the Victorian Government.
The ABC has reported that local advertising agencies have been able to reduce their budgets by up to $1.5 million a year.
In response to the ABC investigation, Mr Newman said he was confident the Government was committed “to ensuring that advertising is fair and that the public is able to make informed decisions”.
“It’s not about changing grey advertising,” Mr Newman told the ABC.
“It is about ensuring that the Government and businesses are making informed decisions, including whether they’re going to advertise on television and radio.”
He said the government would “take the necessary measures to make sure that advertising has a fair chance of being seen, heard and enjoyed in the communities”.
“We’re also working closely, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and other government bodies, to identify and tackle the problems that we can and we will continue to do so.”