New Decisions: Election Advertising, Photography Promotion and More

The following decisions have been published on the ASA website:

National Party Election Advertising Deemed OK

The National Party posted a video on Twitter that said “WATCH: Labour has plans for regional New Zealand and they are not good ones.” The video showed farm scenes and on-screen text said: “Let’s work with Farmers. Not against them.” The video is interrupted with a message featuring the Labour Party logo and states the following on-screen: “Labour. Tax Agenda: A water tax; A capital gains tax; Farming into the ETS; Land taxes & wealth taxes.” The advertisement concludes with the on-screen message: “Only National will deliver for regional NZ. Party vote National.”

The Complainant’s view was that the use of the red colour and Labour Party logo was misleading as it implied it was the official position of the Labour Party and gave the impression Labour intends to implement a Capital Gains Tax if elected.

The Advertiser said the use of the Labour Party logo and red colour highlighted the contrast in the parties’ policies on tax. The Advertiser said the context of the advertisement, the theme music and the National Party logo, made it clear the advertisement was the opinion of the National Party.

The Complaints Board said the advocacy advertisement was part of a political discourse allowed under the provisions of the Code of Ethics. Further, the Complaints Board said the reference to ‘Labour’s Tax Agenda’ in the context of an advertisement on Twitter did not meet the threshold to be likely to mislead voters. The majority of the Complaints Board said the brief use of the colour red and Labour Party logo in the advertisement did not reach the threshold to be misleading. In accordance with the majority, the Complaints Board ruled to Not Uphold the complaint.  Read More…

Photography Promotion Must Comply With Standards

A poster advertisement for the World Press Photo Exhibition NZ appeared in several locations around Auckland. It showed a photo of Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was assassinated while he was speaking at an art gallery, dead on the ground while the gunman holds his gun in the air. The Complainant was concerned the advertisement was a gruesome depiction of a dead body and it promoted extremism, terrorism and violence, but the complaint was Not Upheld by the Complaints Board.

The Complainant appealed the decision because in their view the decision did not give sufficient weight to the medium used for the advertisement and instead placed too much emphasis on the value of the photograph itself. The Appeal Board considered all the matters afresh and agreed the use of such an image to promote an exhibition in a poster advertisement to an unrestricted audience did offend against generally prevailing community standards. Accordingly, the Appeal Board ruled the complaint was Upheld and the appeal was Allowed.  Read More…