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NZ Post's advertising emotional blackmail

Media release


Newmarket Business Association


Wednesday, 7 May 2008

NZ Post's Mother's Day advertising emotional blackmail

The head of Auckland's leading retail district says New Zealand Post's radio advertising for Mother's Day amounts to emotional blackmail and the adverts should be pulled immediately because they are not in the spirit of Mother's Day.

"We are one of the most commercial organisations in the country, yet we would never humiliate people who make the effort to telephone their mother on Mother's Day. The advertising is very poor taste, particularly given NZ Post is a state-owned enterprise owned by Mum and Dad taxpayers," said Cameron Brewer, general manager of the Newmarket Business Association.

The radio advertisement in question refers to a daughter being made to feel bad about herself because she cheerfully rang her mother for Mother's Day, while her brother had sent a card and got a much better reaction. The voiceover states that ringing shows one has remembered while sending a card shows that one cares.

"Let’s not forget that thousands of businesses promote themselves and their products for Mother's Day to gain a commercial advantage. However it is bad taste to make people feel inadequate if they chose to telephone their mother to mark the occasion. At worse, it’s nothing more than emotional blackmail.  

"Sure in this commercial world we all love to talk up Mother's Day. In fact it is one of the biggest events in the retail calendar. However it's very important that we don't try to emotionally blackmail people who chose to mark the occasion by telephoning, emailing, or visiting their mothers. After all it is the thought that counts, and for many mothers including my own, a phone call may be all that they want.”

Mr Brewer said sending cards and buying presents and flowers should only ever be promoted as an option for Mother’s Day not as the only way one can demonstrate their love and respect.






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