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Reader’s Digest Appealing ASCB Decision

Media Statement
28 August 2006
Reader’s Digest Appealing ASCB Decision

Reader’s Digest is appealing a decision by the NZ Advertising Standards Complaints Board that one of its recent mail pieces was misleading. The Advertising Standards Complaints Board has received one complaint regarding a promotional mail piece that was sent out in New Zealand earlier this year, claiming it was misleading and the Advertising Standards Complaints Board has upheld that complaint.

Reader’s Digest managing director, Paul Heath, says the company is surprised with the decision, based on only one complaint and does not believe that it is misleading.

“This offer was mailed in New Zealand as well as other countries and the company is not aware of any other complaints. This particular mail piece did not require the consumer to order any product, but to simply respond to a lucky number draw for a chance to win $45,000.

“However, it is never our intention to mislead consumers in any country in which we operate and so we will nonetheless take this decision on board,” says Mr Heath.

Reader’s Digest has been operating in New Zealand for almost 60 years. Over this period a number of New Zealand consumers have won prizes in the company’s popular sweepstakes promotions, with some Kiwis winning major prizes. The most recent being Mr Hari, a market gardener from Pukekohe, winning $400,000 in February 2004.

Mr Heath says the company is not aware of any significant consumer concerns regarding its promotions, however, Reader’s Digest will commission independent research to confirm its understanding of how the majority of New Zealand consumers feel, rather than rely on an isolated complaint.

Reader’s Digest has advised the ASCB that it will appeal the decision.


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