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Source: Advertising Standards Authority

The following decisions have been released to the ASA website:

Spark’s Ernest Rutherford ad didn’t breach ASA Code

The television advertisement for Spark shows what appears to be black and white movie footage of famous New Zealand scientist Lord Ernest Rutherford sitting at a desk reading from a sheet of paper. Lord Rutherford’s speech has been altered using technology, so it appears he is supporting the “dawn of 5G”.

Two Complainants said the advertisement was misleading.

The Complaints Board did not uphold the complaints. The Complaints Board said the majority of consumers would recognise the advertisement was a creative portrayal of what Lord Rutherford might say, if he was alive to witness the adoption of 5G technology.

The Complaints Board considered if it was acceptable to edit footage to give the impression a person is saying something they didn’t actually say, and agreed the use of this practice must be considered on a case-by-case basis. In this case, the advertisement was created in collaboration with members of Lord Rutherford’s estate, which mitigated the risk.

Furniture ad playing on COVID-19 insensitive

The email and website advertisements for Idiya said “Spread the Savings during the Lockdown” VIRAL SALE. Refer a friend and get 10% savings. Further spread the savings by shopping over NZD 300 to gift a NZD 30 store credit to your friend too!! Be Generous, Spread the Savings.

The Complainant was concerned the advertisements were using inappropriate humour, referring to the COVID-19 global pandemic, to promote furniture.

The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Upheld. The Board said the advertisements were not socially responsible, noting they had been prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic and made deliberate, if tacit, reference to it through use of the words “viral”, “spread” and “lockdown”. The Board ruled this was in breach of the Advertising Standards Code, as in the context of the global pandemic, where many lives have been lost, this was socially irresponsible and insensitive.