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Internet Mana Party advertisement to be removed

SUMMARY

The Youtube advertisement begins with the Internet Mana Party logo and the phrase “Join the Revolution” and includes video footage of an event featuring “Kim Dotcom Internet Party Founder and Visionary”. Those at the event react to a number of statements from Mr Dotcom and then chant “Fuck” John Key” a number of times. The word ‘fuck’ is bleeped in each instance. The advertisement ends with the words “Change the Government, Party vote Internet Mana” and a promoter’s statement.

The Complainant, B. McCoskrie said the advertisement “denigrates another political leader in an offensive fashion.

In considering the acceptability or otherwise of the advertisement, a significant issue for the Complaints Board was the personal nature of the content. The Complaints Board agreed that political parties as organisatons should be prepared for robust expression of opinion from all voters which may take a range of forms. However, the Complaints Board unanimously agreed the use of a strong expletive with the name of the leader of a political party, packaged into an advertisement calling for a change in Government, was likely to offend against generally prevailing community standards and was in breach of Rule 4 of the Code of Ethics.

While supporting robust expression of opinion in advocacy (and political) advertising, the Complaints Board considered this advertisement had gone beyond what was acceptable. In light of this, the support for freedom of expression in an advertising context had not offset the breach of generally prevailing community standards.

The Complaints Board agreed that as the advertisement was in breach of Rule 4 of the Code of Ethics, it had not been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and society and was also in beach of Basic Principle 4 of that Code. Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled to Uphold the complaint.

[Advertisement to be removed]

Full descision [link]: http://www.asa.co.nz/decision_file.php?ascbnumber=14453

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