Voicing your concern
This page tells you how you can make a complaint about:
- film, videos, computer games, publications and music recordings
- illegal content on the Internet
- television or radio broadcasts
- print media (including related websites).
There are rules about what can be advertised on broadcasting services in Australia, and when and where it can be advertised. Advertisements must also be accurate.
Advertisers have agreed to a code of ethics developed by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), including advertising to children and a code for advertising food and beverages. The code can be used by other agencies to assess a complaint about an advertisement.
If you want to complain about what's in an advertisement you can approach:
- the Ad Standards for complaints about billboards, in print, on television, or on the radio. You can complain in writing to the ASB about health and safety issues, the use of language, the discriminatory portrayal of people, concern for children, and portrayals of violence, sex, sexuality and nudity. The ASB refers complaints to the Advertising Standards Board for determination.
- the Ad Standards Industry Jury for complaints about the truth, accuracy and legality of advertisements run by a business competitor.
Complaints about the placement of television advertising are covered by broadcasting industry codes of practice.
.au Domain Administration
Administration and management of the .au domain name space is self-regulated. If you are the holder of an .au domain name, are seeking more information or want to make a complaint about the use of an .au domain name, auDA (.au Domain Administration Limited) is endorsed by the Commonwealth Government to manage the technical, policy and compliance aspects of the .au namespace.
If you wish to make a complaint regarding the eligibility or use of a domain name, you can submit a domain complaint.
To check the availability or registrant details of an .au domain name, you can look it up on auDA’s website.
If the name of your current domain name licence, or a name that you wish to register, is protected under Government legislation, then you must apply to the relevant Government department for approval. To find out more please see auDA’s Reserved List policy.
For all other queries, you can submit a general enquiry.
Film, videos, computer games, and publications
Films, videos, computer games and certain publications (including magazines) are classified using the National Classification Scheme. Classification helps people decide which content might be suitable for them or their families.
For information about making a complaint about a classification decision, please visit the classification website.
Illegal content on the Internet
Complain to the eSafety Commissioner about offensive and illegal online content.
Print and online news publishers are self-regulated. The Australian Press Council (APC) is the main body with responsibility for standards and complaints.
If you have a complaint about what's in a newspaper, periodical, online news site or the website of these publications:
- first, approach the editor or other representative of the publication
- if you aren't satisfied with the result you may want to contact the APC.
Complaints about some magazines, newspapers and associated digital outlets, primarily those published by Pacific Magazines or West Australian Newspapers, are handled by the Independent Media Council (IMC), a self-regulatory body which assesses complaints against the IMC's Code of Conduct. Information on the IMC's Code of Conduct, and the IMC's online complaint form, are available from the IMC's website.
Television and radio programs
What you see and hear in television and radio programs is covered by industry codes of practice. Complaints about radio or television programs will be assessed in terms of how that content breaches those codes. The codes are listed at:
- Commercial Radio Australia Ltd
- Free TV Australia
- Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA)
- Special Broadcasting Service
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
If you have a complaint about any television or radio program:
- Contact the broadcaster directly.
- If they don't answer within 60 days you can complain to ACMA.
If you need help with contact details:
- Local telephone directories have contact information for local stations.
- The ACMA website has lists of licensed broadcasters.
- The ABC and SBS websites have contact details.
There are some matters that you can complain directly to the ACMA about, including complaints about a TV or radio broadcaster's compliance with their licence conditions. For information on what can be complained directly to the ACMA about, and how to make a complaint, visit the ACMA website.