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Swimming Pool Fencing: 50% Exaggeration OK

Thu, 2 Sep 2004

Swimming Pool Fencing: 50% Exaggeration OK

Press Release:- Pool Owners Action Group Spokesman: Gary Osborne

On 2 June 2004 Waitakere City Council ran an inaccurate advertisement claiming 6 pre-school children drown each year in private pools. The figure should be 4 for the whole of New Zealand.

On 4 June, I complained to the Advertising Standards Authority and was informed some 2 months later that my complaint was not upheld as the Board concluded "the social good imparted by the message overrode the inaccuracy of the figures."

Meanwhile, Denis Sheard, Legal Services Manager for Waitakere City Council, emailed me to inform me "As recently as 16 June I saw a draft communication from that body (Water Safety NZ) which contained a statement that there was on (sic) average of "six to seven" preschool deaths from drowning in domestic pools." He went on to say "Council does not think it makes any difference whether the number is "around four" or "around six".

On 19 June, at my insistence, after initially accusing me of being pedantic, Alan Muir of Water Safety NZ, corrected the Pool Safe website from 6 drownings per annum to 4.

On 6 August I appealed the decision of the Advertising Standards Complaints Board enclosing the comments from Denis Sheard.

On 1 September I received a letter from the Board saying my appeal was not accepted and "the Chairman was of the view that it did not present any new evidence.

The Pool Owners Action Group has now opened its own website www.poag.org.nz and hopes to keep the New zealand public much better informed on the pool fencing issue.


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