Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Channel Seven reneges on airing GetUp ad, doesn't give straight answer why

Australian Internet activist organisation Get Up is fuming that Channel seven didn't broadcast the ad that they bought time for, intended to draw attention to the situation in Tibet, during the Olympic opening ceremony. Seven's excuses have so far been, in sequence:
  1. GetUp hadn't actually paid for the ads to be broadcast. When GetUp produced spreadsheets showing that the ad had indeed been bought and paid for, Seven switched to:

  2. The ads weren't shown because the Olympic opening ceremony ran overtime. This somehow extended to bookings made with Seven's regional broadcasting partner, Prime Television, to broadcast the ad in timeslots before the ceremony had even started. Seven has pulled a Sergeant Schultz on that one and claimed to know nothing about what Prime may or may not have allegedly possibly chosen to do or not do. Prime has released no information whatsover. Seven has since shifted position again, and is now claiming that:

  3. GetUp supposedly ambushed Seven by claiming that they'd booked time to air their Fuelwatch ad rather than the Tibet ad. The beauty of this of course is that there's simply no way for GetUp to prove their innocence of the charge, making the issue now one of who you believe is telling the truth. I would point out that Channel Seven has already stated on verifiable lie when they falsely claimed that GetUp had not paid for airtime for an ad which they had actually paid for.

GetUp meanwhile is again soliciting donations to run their ad on channel seven. Hopefully. It may be difficult to convince people that the ad will not again be refused for arbitrary and shifting reasons. That may discourage donations in my opinion, unfortunately.

In political theory class today I was intrigued to hear the opinion of many of the youth there that while they were concerned about abuse of government power, they believed the power of transnational corporations was at least as worrying, if not more so, than that of government. I'm vaguely interested in the question of whether the GetUp situation is an example of the Chinese government's abuse of power, corporate abuse of power by Channel Seven, or some combination of both, but I definitely believe that this dishonest approach to the issue by channel seven is a deeply disturbing manifestation of an abuse of power.

Where's that credit card....

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