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ASA decides in favour of Forest & Bird freshwater advert

The Advertising Standards Authority has determined a Forest & Bird advertisement about freshwater degradation is responsible and truthful, despite a number of complaints being made.

In its decision (complaint number 19/249), the Advertising Standards Authority concluded the ad meets standards of truthful presentation, and the seven complaints have no grounds to proceed.

Read the ASA decision and see the TV ad here.

The decision states, “the advertisement’s primary message was about protecting New Zealand rivers from the pollution associated with dairy intensification,” and, “the advertisement was not misleading or making environmental claims that could not be substantiated.”

“Some people are still prepared to deny the reality that intensive farming has wrecked our rivers over the last few decades more than any other source of pollution,” says Forest & Bird freshwater advocate Annabeth Cohen.

“The ad uses images of cows up to their knees in mud as an example of bad farming practice that causes a lot of water pollution.”

“The farming practice shown in the ad is happening around the country, right now. It is current footage. Forest & Bird is shocked and we expect most people will be outraged,” says Ms Cohen.

“These complaints are about denial, not about solutions. Our TV ad shows the reality in this country. The agriculture industry needs to take responsibility for their role in the freshwater crisis.”

“Increases in pollution like nitrates, phosphates, E. coli, and sediment are flowing into our streams and making them unswimmable for people and unlivable for fish and birds.”

“The national rules on fresh water are not good enough to actually protect our precious waterways and this has to change urgently.”

“Forest & Bird is demanding a better future for our water, where we can swim, fish, and drink safely.”

“We need better rules to stop pollution and restore our rivers.”

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