New Zealand Aids Foundation Television Advertisement
5 November 2009
Complainant: A. Holliday & K. Hughes
Advertisement: New Zealand Aids Foundation
Complaint: The television advertisement contained images of condom covered forefingers dancing in unison to a bouncy soundtrack with lyrics which said: "You want me to be wanting you, to be wanting me. I want to leave but I want to take your love with me..." A bare finger is shown and rejected by the others until it reappears wearing a condom.
The advertisement includes an image showing a map of New Zealand inside a condom, and ends with the web address http://www.getiton.com.nz. The Advertiser is identified as New Zealand Aids Foundation.
Complainant, A. Holliday, who saw the advertisement at 8.25pm on TV2, was of the view that as it contained "sexual content", it should be shown at a later time, particularly as children could be watching.
Complainant, K. Hughes, having seen the advertisement at 8.45pm on TV2, expressed a similar concern.
The relevant provisions were Basic Principle 4 and Rule 11 of the Code of Ethics.
The Chairman noted the concerns about the content of the advertisement and the times at which it had been shown, as raised by the Complainants.
She then referred to Rule 11 of the Code of Ethics, which said:
"Advocacy Advertising - Expression of opinion in advocacy advertising is an essential and desirable part of the functioning of a democratic society. Therefore such opinions may be robust. However, opinion should be clearly distinguishable from factual information. The identity of an advertiser in matters of public interest or political issue should be clear."
In her view, the important health message conveyed in the advertisement was a matter of public interest, and robust expression of such was acceptable under Rule 11. She noted that the Advertiser was clearly identified.
Furthermore, the Chairman noted that after 8.30pm on TV2 generally rated as Adult Only (AO) viewing time, and that programmes and advertisements shown were rated accordingly. Prior to 8.30pm was rated as Parental Guidance Required (PGR), and did not include programmes targeted at children.
Having made these observations, the Chairman was of the view that the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society and there was no apparent breach of the Advertising Codes.
Accordingly, the Chairman ruled that there were no grounds to proceed.
Chairman's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed