Channels 7 and 10 as well as SBS have followed Channel 9’s lead and refused to air a controversial Greenpeace recycling advert despite clearance and classification by Free TV.
Greenpeace has also confirmed to B&T that the Sydney Film Festival has also rejected Greenpeace's booking.
Greenpeace would have to be happy with the outcome of the advert’s difficulty finding paid for slots on commercial television, however, with it having been viewed more than 870,000 times on YouTube in its first week. The advert has also been posted on numerous other websites including the ABC’s news site.
The advert would be difficult to run for the commercial networks as it is directly critical of Coca-Cola, which Greenpeace accuse of being directly responsible for the deaths of millions of seabirds.
“None of the channels have clarified why an ad that has passed their own industry body’s standards is unfit to air,” said Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner. “The most logical conclusion is that the networks fear losing advertising revenue from Coca-Cola.”
“Frankly, it’s astounding to find ourselves in a situation where a company that sells fizzy drinks can control what Australians have the right to watch on TV.”
Greenpeace has also accused Coca-Cola of “purchasing nearly every conceivable Google Ad Word relating to recycling and cash for containers. It seems the beverage giant has even gone so far as purchasing the search term ‘Greenpeace”.
"Coca-Cola is committed to measures that improve recycling and reduce litter in Australia. We disagree with Greenpeace about the best methods for doing that and we’re happy to have that debate. Indeed, we continue to have this conversation in stakeholder meetings, on facebook and via our blog.
"Adwords (or paid search) is a legitimate and transparent means to help people understand our position on recycling and why we don’t support container deposits. Greenpeace are entitled to their opinion, but the idea that we are trying to shut down debate is simply not supported by the facts,” Coca-Cola said in a statement.
Channel Seven said that they hadn’t banned anything, but had declined to accept a booking.
SBS said it retained the right to accept or reject any advertisement.