Examples from Parents

The following are examples we’ve received from parents in response to our Stop ambushing parents with unsuitable trailers campaign.

Happily watching Aust Tennis Open Live on Ch. 7 with my children, sharing my love of the game, teaching them rules, singing along with audience chanters when a TV ad promoting a Channel 7 program comes on. “How To Get Away With Murder.” Destroyed family viewing, 2 upset, frightened children. Rang Channel 7 to clarify rating which is M and to complain about level of violence in ad. Receptionist took my complaint, said he would pass it on, I could write (postal letter!) to Channel 7 to Officer of Complaints. No email contact was available ( very odd!) . They suggested I ring ACMA a govt. dept, and /or Free TV, he also suggested I could record the tennis, and edit out the ads. I shouldn’t have to do that  I want to watch it live like the rest of the viewing audience.”


“The last month or so we’ve been letting [child] stay up and watch MasterChef. A cooking show ain’t too scary and she gets into the “competition” of it all. However, Channel Ten’s insistence on hammering their advertising of adult shows like the new (and apparently awful) CSI: Cyber, which depicts kids being stolen/auctioned and plenty of thematic stuff that would worry her, as well as the sheer number of (adult) movie trailers and things on in these time-slots is concerning, especially since MasterChef prides itself on being a family oriented show.
… just because a show starts at 7.30pm (in the family-friendly timeslot) and runs well up to 9pm some night (apparently this is theMA15+ timeslot) doesn’t mean those who start watching the programme want to go to bed half way through because commercials for adult shows come on. If a show starts in a “older kids” timeslot, the advertising should remain appropriate for the entire run of the show (regardless of when it finishes). You hear that ‪#‎Channel10? Looks like we won’t be watching your shows any more. Hope your sponsors are aware of this.”


“There are numerous examples of inappropriate ads being shown during “family” television shows. We were appalled at some of them that were shown during the day during the cricket, advertising up and coming shows. I could not walk away and leave my children to watch the cricket by themselves. Most recently, we have been disturbed by content shown during Channel 10s Masterchef. There are ads for programs that show violence, explosions, gun fire, discuss child abduction, just to name a few. We have to have our finger on the remote button to change channels or turn the tv off during ad breaks. I do not mind providing parental guidance, but I do not want to have to police what should be an entertaining time for the family. I also do not want my children’s innocence to be threatened by ill conceived and irresponsible ad programming and promotions.”


“All throughout the G rated Better homes and Gardens on channel 7 two Fri from 7 til 8:30 there were tons of ads promoting the M rated catching Milat Sunday night feature!! At the time we were watching Better homes, as a young family, which we love to do every Fri night. I was devastated that this ad could be shown then. VERY INAPPROPRIATE! No more family time wasted on that show here now.”


“We have had those online dating site ads (the ones that encourage you to cheat on your spouse) televised during the day and early evening. Disgusts me seeing them late at night let alone when your impressionable 11 yo son is watching. TV programmers really need to take a long hard look at themselves and show some restraint and commonsense.”


 Tired of being ambushed?

Let the ACMA know that you want the situation improved, not made worse by Free TV’s proposed changes. Write or email the Chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Here’s the address

Mr Chris Chapman


The Australian Communications and Media Authority

P O Box Q500

Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230


The Australian 20th May 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Natasha Bita National Education, C 2015, ‘Click bait: kids at risk as sexualised behaviour becomes ‘new normal’’, Australian, The, p. 6., 30 May 2015

NIKKI, G 2015, ‘‘Boner Garage’ girls, my heart breaks for you’, Australian, The, p. 6. ,30 May 2015

On June 1st 2015, Our CEO Barbara Biggins sent the following letter to the Editor of the Australian in response to the above articles which appeared in the paper on 30th May 2015.

 Dear Editor,
Your Editorial (“Online child sexploitation 3/5) and articles ‘Click Bait; Kids at risk..’ and “’Boner garage’ girls..” (WE Aust May30-31) throw a much needed fresh spotlight on the issue of the sexualisation of the young.
You conclude that “adults must help children in dealing with it.” That’s vital: many parents tell us that finding positive and healthy experiences in an increasingly complex media environment is difficult, as is countering adverse influences. Others have given up the struggle.
Support to parents is vital. It needs to encourage parents to start smart and early with screen management: by the tween and teen years it gets much harder.

The new Federal E Safety Commissioner’s role is to focus on cyberbullying, but will include the provision of parent information and support, including advice to parents about the appropriateness of films, computer games and websites. Additional funding here could be a good start.
It’s now close to a decade since the Australia Institute first reported on the issues with its 2006 study “Corporate paedophilia”, and a group of 12 children’s professionals wrote to The Australian (Dec. 2006) calling for action. It’s just seven years since a Senate Inquiry reported on the sexualisation of children in contemporary society (2008). The promised review of outcomes 18 months did not eventuate, despite Federal member Amanda Rishworth’s call for action in 2010.
No more delays! It’s time for action. And it would lessen parents’ load, if corporations reviewed, reflected on and revised marketing practices that are impacting on children’s developing sexuality.

Barbara Biggins, Australian Council on Children and the Media, Glenelg, SA

The following is the edited version of the letter published in the Australian 4th June 2015

 Sexploitation action
Your editorial (“Online child sexploitation challenges today’s parents”, 3/6) throws a spotlight on the issue of the sexualisation of the young. You say adults must help children in dealing with it. Many parents tell us that finding healthy experiences in an increasingly complex media environment is difficult, as is countering adverse influences. Support for parents is vital. We should encourage parents to start smart and early with screen management.
It’s close to a decade since the Australia Institute reported on this in 2006. It’s seven years since a Senate inquiry reported on the sexualisation of children. It’s time for action.

Barbara Biggins, Australian Council on Children and the Media, Glenelg, SA



Stop ambushing parents campaign

ACCM is currently running a campaign calling for TV stations to stop ambushing parents with movie trailers that are not aligned with the programs chosen for family and child friendly viewing.

Our CEO Barbara Biggins, who’s a mother of a mother of 3 and grandmother of 10, and longtime advocate of healthy viewing for children, provides the following account of a recent TV viewing experience.

“There I was happily watching the G rated movie Rio at 6pm last Saturday, when not long in, on came an unexpected, very-in-your face promo for the movie Transformers (classified M) for later that night.
I thought the promo had no place in a movie that was suitable for and would be enjoyed by young children.  The movie promo was violent and scary, and promoted a movie that was plainly unsuitable for young children.  The channel showed it again an hour or so later, and again just after Rio ended.
I think this sort of practice undermines parents’ careful choices for their kids, and it’s time it was stopped”

By the way, parents can check out movie content at ACCM’s Know Before You Go site.

Below are some examples of recent promos that Barbara has seen that may have also ambushed other parents. Let us know if they bothered you. You can share your experience here or on our Facebook page.

If you don’t like these promos, why not support the Australian Council on Children and the Media’s “Stop the Ambush” campaign.

Parents have enough stresses without being ambushed during Family Friendly TV.

Examples discovered by Barbara.

May 14th 2015, Seven Two, Better Homes and Gardens (G): 7-8:30pm
Promos for Catching Milat (M)

May 22nd 2015, Seven, Million $Minute: 5:30pm2 Promos for Catching Milat(M)
And a couple in the footy on Saturday afternoon around 4pm.

May 23rd 2015, Nine, Movie Bucket List (PG):7pm
There were 6 promos for M programs/movies: 1 for an MA15+ movie, and a very violent trailer for the next movie within the credits of Bucket List.

May 24th 2015, Nine, Reno Rumble: 4pmTrailers for Married without (M); Entourage (MA15+); San Adreas (M); and several extended trailers for Love Child (M).

May 27th 2015, Seven, Home and Away (PG):7pm
Promo for Sunday night special on Claremont killer- with details.

May 28th 2015, TEN, Family Feud (G):6pm
Promo for Neighbours (M) on ch 11, dialogue about their “dirty little secret”

May 30th 2015, Seven, Better Homes and Gardens (G):5pm
Promo for movie Spy (MA15+) showing guns etc
Ad for Presto streaming service, but showing extended trailer for Aquarius (MA15+) violent

May 30th 2015, Seven, Out of the Blue (G):5:30pm
Promo for special on Claremont Killers (no classification) with menacing voices, “letting a monster slip through our fingers”,”boot lined with plastic”.

 May 30th 2015, Ten, movie Rio (G): 6pm
Included 2 trailers for Transformers:Dark side of the Moon (M)- quite violent and menacing, within the program (and another in the first ad break a the end); on promo for “Have you been paying attention”(M), one promo in first ad break at end for Presto streaming service (featuring series Aquarius MA15+)



Gambling content in apps

Gambling is an activity which in South Australia is restricted to Adults.
We’re concerned that there are apps in the market which mimic gambling activity, but are freely available for minors (young children) to access and play.

The Children and Gambling Watch List  was established with funding from the Attorney Generals Department of South Australia, to assist parents and carers of young children to identify apps which have elements of gambling, so they can make informed choices about the apps they make available for children.

We’re interested in your thoughts about the gambling content in apps, and any apps that you have discovered which you believe should be on the Children and Gambling Watch List.