How codes are applied to advertisements

Advertising and advertisement(s) are any message, the content of which is controlled directly or indirectly by the advertiser, expressed in any language and communicated in any medium with the intent to influence the choice, opinion or behaviour of those to whom it is addressed. The word “product” includes goods, services and facilities whether paid or given free. The word “consumer” refers to any person to whom an advertisement is addressed or is likely to be reached by it whether as a final consumer or as a trade customer or user.

The Codes apply to the entire content of an advertisement, including all words and numbers (spoken and written), visual presentations, music and sound effects. The conformity of any advertisement with the Codes will be judged primarily in terms of its impact upon the type of person who is likely to be exposed to it. Where there is any doubt, the interpretation shall be adopted that best serves the purpose and intent of any Code. The Code of Ethics will also provide guidance.

The Advertising Standards Complaints Board and the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board are the final judges of the interpretation of the Codes.

Application of the ASA Codes to international advertisements

Where complaints have been received concerning advertisements placed in publications, programmes or interactive media, which originate outside New Zealand and are intended primarily for audiences outside New Zealand but also reach New Zealand audiences, the Advertising Standards Complaints Board and the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board will take into account the following guidelines.

  • Compliance with the advertising rules in the country of origin.
  • The size and composition of the New Zealand audience.
  • Whether the advertising is targeted at New Zealand consumers.
  • The accessibility of the product to New Zealand consumers.
  • Whether best endeavours have been made to exclude advertisements which would clearly breach the Advertising Codes of Practice. This could be particularly relevant in the case of live presentations of overseas events to a substantial number of New Zealanders.
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