Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Fluoride Free NZ Wins on Advertising Complaints

Fluoride Free NZ Wins on Advertising Complaints

The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled in favour of Fluoride Free New Zealand (FFNZ) regarding their controversial TV ads screened this winter. All of the complaints against the FFNZ TV ads were rejected.

FFNZ produced two TV adverts that aired on TV3 in July and August this year. The Advertising Standards Authority received a number of complaints that claimed that the information presented was “untrue” or “played on fear.”

The ASA outright rejected the complaints about the first ad, which listed all the “Countries That Do Not Fluoridate Their Water”, saying there was no basis to proceed with the complaint. The advert stated that 98% of Europe did not fluoridate, and only 4% of the world had water fluoridation.

Complaints were received from another six people who also claimed that the FFNZ ad about fluoride chemicals being “Toxic Waste” was “not factual” and “played on fear.” This advert described how the chemicals used to fluoridate 50% of New Zealand’s drinking water are hazardous.

The Advertising Standards Authority reviewed these claims and invited FFNZ and the Television Commercial Advertising Board (TCAB) to respond. The TCAB had originally reviewed and approved the adverts before they went to air on NZ television.

After careful consideration, the ASA ruled that the fluoridation adverts were factual and did not unjustifiably play on fear.

The TCAB provided a response to the ASA regarding these complaints:

“…Amongst the issues expressed by the complainants are… that they simply do not agree with its message.

“…If hexafluorosilic acid is toxic and a waste product, then the advertiser has every right to present that material fact. That fact is unimpeachably, scientifically provable and constitutes a truthful statement. Similarly, the use of protective clothing during the transport and handling of hexafluorosilic acid is definitely required; it is an immutable truth, a whole fact, and a truthful presentation. The opinion that fluoride should be removed from NZ drinking water is just that – an opinion. The expression of political opinion is protected by Rule 11 of the Code of Ethics, noting that robust debate is essential for the functioning of a healthy democracy. The advertiser has undertaken due responsibility in this commercial by making sure that all factual statements are correct, that the opinion of their organisation is clear (just look at their name), and by these measures that NZ viewers will not be misled or deceived.

“… Very similar complaints against other Fluoride Free NZ advertisements have reached ‘No Grounds to Proceed’ decisions, including complaints 12/272, 12/285 and 16/300.”

Mary Byrne, media spokesperson for Fluoride Free New Zealand said, “We are pleased with the ASA ruling but are becoming increasingly concerned with the antics of the pro-fluoridation activists. Complaining about these adverts shows they don’t even believe in freedom of speech. Especially the advert that simply tells people a few facts about how many countries have water fluoridation. How can anyone complain about that? These complaints strike at the heart of our democracy.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>


Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>


Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>


IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>


PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>


Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>


Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts