Vodafone Television Advertisement
21 August 2009
Complainant: A. Hyman
Advertisement: Vodafone New Zealand Limited
Complaint: The television advertisement for Vodafone features a presenter walking around the Vodafone office talking about how Vodafone services support businesses. As he walks he interacts with various products and branding for different companies, such as KFC, Bendon and the ANZ. In one brief instance, "Jeremy" is seen touching an electric fence and then flying into air, before landing with a roar in another office space.
Complainant, A. Hyman, said: "... that young man flying up and down through ceilings in the Vodafone ad, is suggesting we laugh at someone in the process of getting brain injury or some other life - altering defect (I can say from experience that its quite devoid of humour!)..."
The relevant provisions were Basic Principle 4 and Rules 5 and 12 of the Code of Ethics.
The Chairman noted A. Hyman's concern about the behaviour shown in the Vodafone advertisement. However, she said the extremely hyperbolic tone of the advertisement indicated that the behaviour shown was not actually taking place, but was a humorous illustration to attract the viewer's attention. In the Chairman's view, the advertisement would not be likely to encourage dangerous behaviour and the advertisement met the due sense of social responsibility required. As such, the Chairman said there was no apparent breach of the Advertising Codes.
The Chairman ruled that there were no grounds to proceed.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed