Legal challenge to spin and pseudo-news puts media on notice

May 5, 2009

A decision in the Australian High Court this week has put media organisations on notice that crossing the line between news and advertorial can be costly.

The Australian Seven network’s Today Tonight was found to have breached section 52 of the Trade Practices Act with two segments in 2004 and 2005 on an investment scheme dubbed Wildy Wealthy Women. The court said the network could not rely on section 65A of the act — the so-called publishers’ defence — partly because an “arrangement” with a marketer for WWW showed they were not at arm’s length.

Now what about this?

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Yeah right!

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