ASA Newsletter: March 2021

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2021 and a very happy Easter from the team at the ASA!

The updates in this edition include:

1.    Update from the Chief Executive
2.    ASA releases 2020 Media Turnover
3.    Alcohol Advertising and Promotion Code
4.    ANZAC Advertising

If you have any questions regarding the content of this newsletter please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Update from the Chief Executive

The ASA has been full steam ahead during this first quarter, with a 78% increase in complaints compared with the same time in 2020. Many of these complaints are about influencers identifying ad content and we continue to work with influencers on advertising transparency.

We have also rolled out industry training on the new Alcohol Advertising and Promotions Code which is in effect for new ads from 1 April 2021.

You may have seen recent stories in the media following the release of the Alcohol Advertising and Promotion Code, and commentary in advance of next year’s review of the Children and Young People’s Code. It is not unusual for the ASA to be criticised by academics as part of their campaign to lobby government for more advertising restrictions. The self-regulatory system provides an accessible, unbiased, and efficient consumer complaints process, with a high level of industry compliance. It is important to remember the ASA Codes do not work in isolation, but rather complement and support New Zealand’s existing regulatory framework.  Industry regulation is well placed to respond to changes in the fast-moving advertising eco-system and works effectively in tandem with existing legislation. We are committed to our vision of every ad a responsible ad, and ensuring the advertising you see is truthful, decent and not misleading.

Kind regards,

Hilary Souter

Chief Executive

Advertising Revenue 2020 released

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today reported that advertising revenue across main media was $2.449 billion dollars for the 12 months ended 31 December 2020.

The data in the turnover report is from television, newspapers, interactive media, radio, outdoor, addressed mail, unaddressed mail, and cinema.

The Magazine Publishers Association did not contribute to the 2020 advertising turnover report as the “degree of change in the sector last year makes meaningful data collection impossible”.  See the methodology notes in the table for more information.

The advertising industry annual turnover statistics are made available through the Advertising Standards Authority.

The members of the ASA are:

Association of New Zealand Advertisers, Communications Council of New Zealand, Interactive Advertising Bureau, Letterbox Media, Magazine Publishers’ Association (Inc), Newspaper Publishers’ Association of New Zealand (Inc), Cinema, Community Newspapers, New Zealand Marketing Association (Inc), New Zealand Post, Out Of Home Media Association Aotearoa, Sky Network Television, Radio Broadcasters’ Association (Inc) and ThinkTV.

Please note: The table and notes are available here.  For media comment on the data contained in the table please contact the media sectors that contributed the information.

Alcohol Advertising and Promotion Code effective 1 April

On 1 April 2021, the new Alcohol Advertising and Promotion Code will come into effect. Advertisers are reminded that all new alcohol advertising is required to comply. Advertisements placed before 1 April 2021 need to comply with the Code for Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol.

All alcohol advertising and promotion will be required to comply with the new Code on 1 July 2021.

The new Code includes reference to relevant legislation, guidelines on alcohol advertising and promotion and low risk drinking guidelines that advertisers must observe.  The Code provides clear guidance to advertisers that alcohol advertising and promotion must be targeted at adults whilst protecting minors and others who may be vulnerable to alcohol advertising and promotion.

We have been rolling out training to the industry and have both webinar and in-house options available, please contact us if you would like further information.

ANZAC Advertising

With ANZAC Day only a matter of weeks away, it’s a good time to get up to speed with the rules around advertising that surround the ANZAC commemoration.

There are legal restrictions that apply to the use of ‘Anzac’ in trade or business under Section 17 of the Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981. This Act states that, ‘The Governor-General may… prohibit, regulate, or control the use in connection with any business, trade, or occupation of the word ‘Anzac’ or of any other word that so closely resembles the word ‘Anzac’ as to be likely to deceive or mislead any person.’

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage administers the Act and it has  produced “Use of the word ‘Anzac’ or ‘ANZAC’ guidelines”.  Please note the guidelines are not legal advice, however, they provide useful clarification to assist advertisers. The guidelines say “The intention of the protection of the word ‘Anzac’ is to protect the term from commercialisation and to ensure that the use is not offensive to public sentiment.”

Most applications to use the word ‘Anzac’ in trade or business require the authority of the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and the Governor-General.  The Ministry is able to provide guidance on whether a particular use is permitted.

Find out more about the types of applications where the Ministry has adopted a general policy position, and the penalties for unauthorised use, by clicking here to view the blog post on our website.