The ASA is often asked about restrictions around advertising fireworks in New Zealand. We wanted to provide an overview of some of the things to consider when creating fireworks advertisements.
Fireworks are controlled by the Hazardous Substances (Fireworks) Regulations 2001 and there are strict rules around buying and selling fireworks. Although fireworks can be used throughout the year, fireworks are only allowed to be sold during a four day period each year – from November 2nd to November 5th.
Advertisers can advertise fireworks outside of the retail sales period as long as they make the time-frame for the sale clear to ensure the advertisement is not misleading. As fireworks are a restricted product and cannot be sold to children and young people, advertising should target adults. The Advertising Standards Code applies to fireworks advertising and in particular advertisers should be aware of the rules for truthful presentation (Rule 2(b)) and safety (Rule 1(e)).
When creating fireworks advertising, you should be mindful of the rules surrounding their use to ensure these are reflected in your images and words. Some specific things to consider include:
- Many local councils have laws that stop people from lighting fireworks in public places such as parks or beaches.
- The use of fireworks should show respect to your neighbours, especially those with young children or pets.
- Fireworks are a restricted product and purchasers must be 18 years old and have valid ID to buy fireworks.
- There also rules about what types of fireworks are sold, so ensure the fireworks imagery used in your ads are legal in New Zealand
- Many pets, especially dogs, can be very scared by the lights and sounds of fireworks. The SPCA has guidelines about Guy Fawkes and pets.
- The fire service has helpful advice on using fireworks safely.