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TVNZ hooked on fast-food money

TVNZ hooked on fast-food money

Green MP Sue Kedgley is accusing TVNZ of ignoring its social responsibility to the community by opposing bans on fast food advertising and direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines.

TVNZ chief executive, Ian Fraser today told Parliament's commerce select committee that he would fight any such bans.

Ms Kedgley, the Green spokesperson on Broadcasting and Health, said Mr Fraser's attitude exposed a contradiction and potential conflict of interest between TVNZ's commercial goals and the social responsibilities which lay at the heart of the state-owned broadcaster.

"One of the explicit objectives of the newly restructured Television New Zealand is to 'demonstrate a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates and by endeavouring to accommodate or encourage those interests,'" Ms Kedgley pointed out.

"Mr Fraser's comments make it clear that when social issues have the potential to impact on TVNZ's revenue, the organisation will put commercial considerations first."

Ms Kedgley said it was completely inappropriate for the Chief Executive of a state owned television company to be fighting proposed social changes such as a ban on fast food products or the direct advertising of prescription medicines.

"TVNZ is supposed to be impartial and neutral, and should not be taking a stand against contentious social issues just because they might affect its commercial revenues."

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