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Wrong again

By Steven | November 24, 2008

I think the Advertising Standards Complaints Board has screwed up again, this time upholding a complaint about ACT’s political advertising. Norightturn made this point first.

The ads claimed that ACT was the only party opposed to the Emissions Trading Scheme. The Family Party complained that this was incorrect: it was opposed to the ETS, too.

A majority of the ASCB ruled that this was an exaggerated and misleading claim and was presented as fact. Again, the reasoning is very sketchy, and contains no discussion of the Bill of Rights Act (though the BORA is mentioned in the boilerplate section). I don’t think  this uphold can possibly be demonstrably justified. The Family Party got 8176 votes. It never had a hope of getting into Parliament. ACT’s claim was plainly made in that context. The ASA needs to recognise that a degree of exaggeration and simplification needs to be tolerated in political discourse. It should be asking itself whether the claim was in the ballpark, and whether voters would be significantly misled. It’s hard to see that they would be here.

I note that the decision is dated 6 November – before the election, but was released on the 18th of November – well after it. That’s a fat lot of good. No sense in having an expedited submissions and deliberation process if you’re not going to get the decision out in time. The point of the fast-track process is to inform voters of the errant ads. It seems the ASCB knew what it was going to decide and why before the election – but didn’t tell the voters that.

Topics: Advertising Standards, NZ Bill of Rights Act | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Wrong again”

  1. Act lied and gets away with it at The Standard 2.02 Says:
    November 30th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    […] Wrong again! – The ASCB upheld a complaint against Act that their advertising “ACT was the only party opposed to the Emissions Trading Scheme” was incorrect. The Kiwi Party also opposed the ETS. In this case we’re talking about a party that had virtually no chance of getting into politics. In fact they got less votes than the Bill & Ben party. Again the ASCB seems to have a problem distinguishing the numbers and reality. […]

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