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									                                                         Big Brother Bother
                                                                   13th July 2006




Introduction ............................................................................................................................................2
Big Brother sponsors and how to handle their responses .....................................................................2
   Queensland Government ...................................................................................................................2
   Dreamworld ........................................................................................................................................2
   3 Mobile..............................................................................................................................................3
   Reckitt Benckiser................................................................................................................................3
   Masterfoods........................................................................................................................................3
   Yum Restaurants International...........................................................................................................4
   KFC ....................................................................................................................................................4
   Proctor and Gamble ...........................................................................................................................5
   GlaxoSmithKline.................................................................................................................................5
   Frucor Beverages...............................................................................................................................5
Sizzler NOT a Big Brother sponsor........................................................................................................6
Background............................................................................................................................................6
What’s the recent fuss about? ...............................................................................................................6
A history of shame .................................................................................................................................7
More information on Big Brother ............................................................................................................8




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Introduction


Following yet another sexually offensive moment in Big Brother, ACL is asking our supporters to contact
sponsors of the show to ask them to cease putting money into this program.


Thank you to everyone who has already taken the time to contact sponsors and complain about their role in
promoting this terrible program. Sponsorships for BB are absolutely critical to BB – without them Channel 10
cannot continue to show BB. Many of these companies rely on families for their business success and are
sending a mixed message to consumers by also sponsoring a lewd and sexually offensive show such as Big
Brother.


Below, please find an update on sponsors and the responses they are giving to complaints. Further down, you
will find background on Big Brother and links to recent media articles about the show.


Big Brother sponsors and how to handle their responses


Queensland Government
The Queensland Government has refused to withdraw its funding of Big Brother, claiming the show contributes
over $100 million dollars to the state’s economy. The government-funded Pacific Film and Television
Commission (PFTC) loaned $2.5 million to the producers of the series, Southern Star Endemol, in 2001. The
government also provided a total of $1 million in salary and payroll tax rebates for the five Big Brother
instalments from 2001 to 2005.


Big Brother does not contribute positively to Queensland. The recent alleged sexual assault was no more than
an incident waiting to happen. This lewd and voyeuristic program fosters the circumstances for these incidents,
lap up the free publicity it brings through its sensationalism and then deny any responsibility. Unfortunately they
are fostering the same values in society.


The QLD Premier should be asked not to spend $4 million dollars on Big Brother when our health system, our
roads, energy, ambulance and police departments all need that funding urgently. To continue contacting the
Premier Phone 07 3224 4500
Email: brisbane.central@parliament.qld.gov.au


Dreamworld
www.dreamworld.com.au - Phone: 1800 073 300




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Dreamworld describes itself as the “ultimate place for family fun” yet also boasts that Big Brother is “produced
live from Dreamworld’s Big Brother Studios. Dreamworld brings the entertainment experience to life with
massive evictions shows, housemate appearances and studio tours.”


How can the Dreamworld justify its sponsorship? Does it seriously expect families to take their children to
Dreamworld when the same theme park is responsible for broadcasting the most family unfriendly program,
which has repeatedly violated basic standards of decency? What a mixed message to send to its key client
group.


3 Mobile
Sponsors $2 m
Price of local call: 13 33 20
customercare@three.com.au


“As one of the sponsors of the Big Brother TV program, we watch the program and its content closely. It is
important that in what can sometimes be a controversial program, the producers and broadcaster of the
program take decisive and appropriate action. Our sponsorship of Big Brother is always reviewed on an annual
basis. We appreciate and acknowledge the concerns you raise, and will take your comments into consideration
in future associations.”


Reckitt Benckiser
Sponsors $2m
http://www.reckittbenckiser.com.au/
Phone: 02 9857 2000


Reckitt Benckiser manufactures everyday household products such as Mortein, Air Wick, Dettol, Harpic, Lysol,
Finish dishwashing products and Vanish (among many others). Such products are purchased by most parents
to keep their homes clean. It is unacceptable that a company making family cleaning products should also be
promoting filth on TV.


Masterfoods
Sponsors $2 m
Free phone 1800 245 455
www.masterfoods.com.au/contact.asp


Response from Masterfoods:
“The MASTERFOODS Brand is not a sponsor of the Channel 10 Big Brother Program. The KAN TONG Brand
and the STARBURST Brand are both involved in sponsorship of Big Brother. All of these brands are owned by
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the MasterFoods Corporation.


We do not advocate or support the behaviour of the individuals involved in the recent incident and we are
disappointed by the behaviour of the two male contestants. We support the action of Network Ten in removing
the contestants from the show.


We understand that Channel 10 has not breached the Australian Media and Communications Guidelines, nor
have they breached the internet content regulatory regime. We therefore intend to honour our sponsorship
commitment. We will watch the show closely and expect Network Ten to adhere to providing acceptable
behaviour within the show. As long as they adhere to this - we will continue to support them. Further
enquiries regarding the incident can be directed to Channel 10. We appreciate that you took the time to contact
us.”


It would be very interesting to know what Masterfoods would consider unacceptable behaviour given that they
are continuing their support of a show that has so far aired detailed sex discussions, harsh swearing, full-frontal
nudity and now a live sexual assault on a female housemate by two male contestants. Surely this is a long
enough list to decide that Channel 10 does not adhere to providing acceptable behaviour on the show.


Yum Restaurants International
Phone: Yum Restaurants International - (02) 9930 3000
Email customer.service.hotline@yum.com


Yum Restaurants International owns two family restaurant chains in Australia: KFC and Pizza Hut. KFC is
heavily promoted on Big Brother (see below). Pizza Hut does not advertise on Big Brother but is owned by the
Yum Brand! which pays $2million dollars a season to advertise on BB. Yum Restaurants need to be aware that,
as owners of family restaurants, it is not good for them be a major sponsor of BB.




KFC
Free phone 1800 804 931
Email customer.service.hotline@yum.com


Response from KFC:
“Thank you for contacting us and providing feedback. All comments provided by our customers are important to
us and are taken into consideration. The comments that you provided have been taken on board as part of our
formal review process of our 2006 Big Brother sponsorship and any future sponsorships. Any comments
regarding the Big Brother programme itself should be directed to Network 10 and the production company
Southern Star Endemol.”
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It is encouraging that KFC will remember these complaints when reviewing its sponsorship of the 2006 Big
Brother. They have boasted of their Big Brother sponsorship and need to be aware that such deals do not
reflect well on family restaurants.


Proctor and Gamble
Sponsors $1.5m
Free phone: 1800 028 280
brandinfo@au.pgconsumers.com


P&G response:
“We're sorry to hear that you're disappointed with the Big Brother show. Due to the nature of the show, we're
not able to view the content before it airs as we do with other programs where we place our advertisements. We
realize each person has somewhat different ideas regarding what is or isn't acceptable. Procter
& Gamble doesn't have the right to dictate and doesn't have any control over television programming. We
appreciate your taking the time to share your comments, and we're letting the rest of our Advertising team
knows about your reaction. We will be passing your comments along to our Marketing /
Advertising Department. We are sure those responsible for the program will appreciate receiving your
comments.”


This is a very lame response. As a sponsor, Proctor and Gamble can dictate what shows its brands are linked
with. They can choose not to put their money into shows which demean human sexuality in this way. They are
very much in control of which programs their brand is linked with. If they dislike the show, they can remove their
sponsorship. If they do not remove their sponsorship, then we must assume they endorse the content of Big
Brother.


GlaxoSmithKline
Sponsors $1.5m
Free phone: 1800 251 905
kay.h.baker@gsk.com


Frucor Beverages
Sponsors $1.5m
Free phone: 1800 237 727
qldorders.FRUCOR_AU@danone.com


Frucor response:


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“I will be out of the office starting 07/05/2006 and will not return until 07/10/2006.I will respond to your message
when I return or alternatively contact Nicole Parker for any urgent inquires.”


We would encourage people to keep emailing so that there is plenty to respond to on her return.


Sizzler NOT a Big Brother sponsor
ACL mistakenly advised supporters that Sizzler was a Big Brother sponsor. This is not directly the case. Please
do not take any action against Sizzler. This confusion arose because the KFC QLD franchise and Sizzler are
both owned by the Collins Food Group. KFC Australia is owned by Yum Restaurants International, which is a
Big Brother sponsor. KFC QLD did not have a say over their state brand being implicated in national
sponsorship of BB. Although Collins owns KFC QLD, Sizzler is managed in a separate department and profits
from Sizzler are not directly involved in BB sponsorship.


Background
First screened six years ago, Big Brother is an infamous reality TV show designed to shock and offend. A mixed
group of young contestants is locked up together in the Big Brother house. To be chosen, they have gone
through a debasing audition process involving simulating orgasms, screaming abuse at one another and kissing
strangers of either sex. Once in the house, they are constantly in one another’s company and always on film,
sharing beds and showers, imbibing a limitless supply of alcohol and performing various tasks set for them by
Big Brother. Each week one contestant is evicted following a public vote. The last one left wins a big payout.


Big Brother has been a huge ratings success for Channel 10, with the nightly program regularly attracting 1.1
million viewers, and up to 1.4 million watching evictions. Last year, two episodes of Big Brother Uncut, the live
version of the main BB show, were found to breach broadcasting standards and this program is no longer
broadcast live. The late night Adults Only show was recently scrapped after public pressure over its sexually
explicit content. However, footage is still provided via the Internet or mobile phones and the Adults Only videos
can still be viewed on BB’s website for a small membership fee.


What’s the recent fuss about?
(taken from - http://www.theage.com.au/news/education-news/bigger-brothers-step-
in/2006/07/07/1152240495434.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2).


Big Brother’s most recent burst of notoriety occurred after housemates John and Ashley pinned down a female
contestant, Camilla, whilst one of them rubbed his crotch in her face. The incident was not screened on TV by
Channel 10 but was streamed live, as it happened, online and to mobile phones. Producers evicted John and
Ashley the following day because their behaviour breached Big Brother rules.


After Queensland police reviewed the footage and interviewed the housemates they decided not to press
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sexual assault charges. Both Ashley and John expressed remorse over what they say was nothing more than a
"practical joke", and while Camilla accepted the housemates acted without malice, she felt the men had gone
too far. News of the incident was met with uproar from politicians, family groups and long-term critics of the
show.


But a review by the Australian Communications and Media Authority found no action could be taken against
Network Ten. The network did not broadcast the incident on television and live streaming on the Internet is not
considered Internet content under the Broadcasting Services Act that regulates online content.


In response, Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan has directed the authority to review the free-to-
air television code of practice and the Broadcasting Services Act with a view to tightening them.


There have long been concerns about the content of Big Brother. Last month, the Ten Network axed Big
Brother Adults Only after continued pressure from Government MPs who were unhappy with the level of
"gratuitous language and displays of sexuality" on the show.


Last year, two episodes of the same program, then known as Big Brother Uncut, were found by the authority to
have breached broadcast standards.


This latest incident has led to calls from the highest levels of politics for the program to be dropped, with Prime
Minister John Howard describing it as "stupid". Opposition leader Kim Beazley also lashed out at the program,
calling for this season of Big Brother to be the last.


They allege that by providing communal showers, double beds and alcohol, the producers create an
environment that encourages lewd conduct - a claim the producers, Endemol Southern Star, vigorously reject.


A history of shame
http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,19662471%255E2902,00.html
    •   May 30, 2005: Housemate Michael gives fellow housemate Gianna a massage with his pants down
    •   June 6 and 13, 2005: Uncut contains high-level sexual references and footage of housemates
        appearing to have sex in a bath
    •   June 22, 2005: Channel Ten apologises to viewers about Uncut and warns housemates against
        offensive behaviour
    •   June 23, 2005: The Australian Communications and Media Authority announces it will investigate three
        episodes of Uncut
    •   September 17, 2005: ACMA finds two episodes of Uncut breached the industry code by showing
        material too offensive for its MA rating


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    •   October 6, 2005: Channel Ten axes Uncut after numerous complaints. The network promises 2006
        shows will be pre-recorded and finished versions of the show checked by two program classifiers
        before broadcast
    •   March 21, 2006: ACMA finds the July 4, 2005 episode of Uncut, which included frank discussions of
        sex enjoyed by housemates, harsh swearing and full-frontal nudity, breached the industry code of
        practice
    •   April 24, 2006: Channel 10 production head confirms Uncut will change to Big Brother - Adults Only to
        encourage parents not to let their children watch
    •   June 12, 2006: Adults Only airs footage in which housemates appear to engage in oral sex
    •   June 20, 2006: Channel 10 admits as many as 76,000 children could be watching Adults Only each
        week
    •   June 23, 2006: Channel 10 bows to public and political pressure and axes Adults Only show


More information on Big Brother
ACL’s website contains links to many articles about Big Brother. New articles are added regularly. To find the
most up to date list, go to the search page of ACL’s website and click on browse by topic. Then choose the
topic of ‘Standards & classification in TV, Internet, film and literature.


Key articles at this point in time are:
ACL’s media release- Big Brother demonstrates failure of self-regulation -
http://www.acl.org.au/pdfs/load_pdf_public.pdf?pdf_id=621&from=


Big Brother subsidy to stay - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10411
Big Brother, big dollar - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10421
Not quite reality on Big Brother - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10418
Bigger brothers step in - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10419
Uproar over Big Brother footage - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10396
Reality check follows furore - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10321
Big Brother should be axed, say PM - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10303
Howard leads calls for eviction - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10305
Time to evict Big Brothel - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10311
“It’s a crime”: Goward - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10314
Calls to ditch Govt funding amid Big Brother outrage -
http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10283
Calls to axe Big Brother TV sleaze - http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=10284




Prepared by:

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ACL National Office
13th July 2006




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