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Retailers Urged To Ban Displays Of Political Signs

Retailers Urged To Ban Displays Of Political Signs

PRESS RELEASE – 14 February 2008

The Stay Displays Coalition of Retailers is urging its members and the New Zealand retailing community to refuse requests from local MPs to use their shops to display electioneering signs for free this year.

“During the last election, dairies and convenience stores, some in marginal electorates, were asked to display large political signs on their outside walls free of charge. Many stores are on busy roads or prominent corners and provide valuable advertising space. In Christchurch Central, for example, these were very effective,” said Richard Green, a Stay Displays Coalition member and Palmerston North tobacconist.

“We are urging all Stay Displays members and owners of dairies to give advertising space only to local MPs who support reasonable regulation and not to those who promote proposals that undermine the viability of our businesses.

“The recent proposals for a ban on tobacco displays are unreasonable, will hurt retailers and not result in fewer smokers. It will only result in supermarkets making more money and the smaller guy being forced out of business.

“So we are saying, ‘Ban Political Displays’ because this election year all retailers can show how much they disapprove of this proposal. Under the Electoral Finance Act, political parties have strict spending limits so this free space provided by dairy owners might have an effect,” Mr Green said.

Mr Green hoped that a “Ban on Political Displays” would make MPs in those marginal seats feel uncomfortable. “Those parties that do not support bans on tobacco displays might get a better reception from retailers; those that want to ban tobacco displays should be refused advertising space and this could hurt MPs in marginal electorates such as Rotorua, Tauranga or Otaki.”

Stay Displays continues to grow by the day. More than 150 retailers around New Zealand now support our campaign. Join at http://www.staydisplays.co.nz/how_to_help.htm.


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