The JAA is preparing to take action against Channel 7’s Today Tonight if it does not publish a correction for misleading viewers in a recent story entitled ‘Jewellers Break the Law”.
According to JAA CEO Ian Hadassin, the story, which screened on February 14 and can be viewed here, purported to show misleading and deceptive representations by a number of jewellery retailers across Australia but “the program itself is guilty of misleading and deceptive behaviour and in breach of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice”.
Hadassin said that on the Today Tonight story ACCC president Rod Simms was quoted as saying the commission had successfully prosecuted seven companies over the past year and these companies had paid penalties of over $1 million but “only one of these companies was a jewellery business”.
“The average viewer would have however thought that all these prosecutions related to jewellery companies.”
“The program also referred to a successful prosecution involving a jewellery business which had happened five years ago, implying that it was a recent case.
“Finally the program interviewed a lady who had purchased a platinum ring and subsequently found the ring to have been made of plastic. This ring was purchased on the website Gumtree, a consumer-to-consumer website which has nothing to do with the jewellery industry, but once again the average viewer would have been under the impression that the jewellery industry was again involved in deceitful practice.”
Hadassin said he had written to Channel 7 requesting a correction but had not had a response yet.
“If Channel 7 refuses then the matter will be pursued through ACMA,” he said.
Hadassin has also written to the NSW Commissioner of Fair Trading “questioning his department’s arrangement with Today Tonight to film their raids on jewellery stores”.