Vodafone Newspaper Advertisement
5 October 2006
Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Ltd
Complaint: The newspaper advertisement sought applicants for the role of "Mobile Mentor" (Mobile Phone Trainer).
The headline said: "If u cn xpln prdctv txt
we reckn ul b gr8 4 ths!"
A visual showed a young man assisting a woman with her mobile phone.
Complainant, B. Spondre, said "the image and copy in the advertisement had a clear subtext that only people of a particular age (under - 25) need bother to apply. This is a contravention of Human Rights legislation." As such, the Complainant was of the view that the headline offer was misleading.
The relevant provision was the Code of Ethics, Rule 2.
The Chairman noted B. Spondre's view. Turning to the text in the advertisement he read the following: "Here's the deal. We're Mobile Mentor - a young, energetic and totally unique company...". The position advertised offered "professional development" and "a great future in the mobile industry". In the Chairman's view, the advertisement had been designed to reach a particular audience, that is a consumer who was text savvy, and this could not be said to be a breach of the Advertising Codes.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed