New Decisions: Offensive Imagery, Business Continuity and More

The following decisions have been published on the ASA website:

In-store Restaurant Advertising Deemed Offensive

A BurgerFuel advertisement appeared on in-store serviette tins and showed a caricature of two pin-up style women back to back wearing only knee-high fishnet tights, one holding a cleaver and one holding a knife. The advertisement included the BurgerFuel branding and logo and said, “Death before bad burgers”.

Complainants said the advertisement was offensive, objectified women and was not appropriate for a family restaurant. One complainant also said the advertisement was sexually explicit, had no relationship to the product, as well as promoting the inappropriate sexualisation of women.

The Advertiser claimed the level of nudity shown was similar to that seen in everyday society and was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to women or people in general. It said the advertisement did not use sexual appeal to sell an unrelated product and was not degrading to women.

The majority of the Complaints Board said the advertisement was sexually explicit, and likely to cause offence. It said the advertisement was in a burger restaurant where it was exposed to a wide audience, including children and used sexualised imagery to sell an unrelated product. The Complaints Board ruled to Uphold the complaint.

Continuity of Business Key in Defending Length of Service Claims

The AMI website featured the tag lines “Caring for New Zealanders for nearly 100 years” and “We’ve been here for New Zealanders for 90 years”.

The Complainant said that AMI should not be using statements such as ‘Caring for New Zealanders for nearly 100 years’ given that the new company was formed only five years ago.

The Advertiser detailed the history of the new IAG subsidiary which acquired the customers, business, assets, liabilities and obligations of AMI. The acquisition of AMI by IAG encompassed all the intellectual property of AMI including its trademarks and the right to use the AMI name.

The Complaints Board acknowledged the frustrations faced by Christchurch earthquake insurance claimants but said the statements on the AMI website were unlikely to mislead consumers. The Complaints Board agreed that the transfer of business operations to an IAG subsidiary and retention of the trademarks and related intellectual property supported this finding. The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Not Upheld.