Mar 062009

This is a video made by “Media Watch” who launched an investigation into the 2007 Aria Music Video Awards in Australia. It shows various subliminal messages where sponsors logos were flashed up during the different category announcements.

Subliminal messaging techniques such as these are illegal – whether used within advertisements themselves or used to advertise a product within an actual program. Here is the video, but also see below for an update.

October 2008 Update:

[broadcaster] TEN breached code by broadcasting material below or near the threshold of normal awareness during 2007 ARIA Awards

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that the Ten Network breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2004  during the broadcast of the 2007 ARIA  Awards on 28 October 2007 by transmitting images below or near the threshold of normal awareness.

ACMA reviewed the show frame by frame. It found that the rapid-cut graphics used in the program was a technique that attempted to convey information to viewers below or near the threshold human awareness, which is a breach of clause 1.8.4 of the code – The code gives clear rules regarding the use or involvement of any technique which attempts to convey information to viewers.

Here are the penalties impsed on Network 10 for this breach, TEN network must:

  • Distribute the investigation report to all relevant production staff  to ensure that future productions of ARIA Awards are consistent with ACMAguidelines
  • Not use the same rapid cut use of sponsor logos for the upcoming 2008 ARIA Music Awards
  • Ensure future compliance (any future breach will lead to significantly heightened compliance testing. )
  • Highlight the code clause in their external production agreements.

Of course, TEN network is not the only one to use subliminal messages in their programming, but both CNN, FOX and some others are likely too big to be fined for those infractions aimed at only the weaker stations it seems.

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