COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/062
COMPLAINANT C Vermeulen
ADVERTISER NZ Transport Agency (NZTA)
ADVERTISEMENT NZTA Television
DATE OF MEETING 27 February 2017
OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The NZTA television advertisement is part of the Local Legends series, designed to discourage drink driving. In the advertisement two older men watch a group of young men who have been drinking, who are about to get into a vehicle.
Recognising one of the young men as the son of a friend, one of the older men decides to intervene and offers them a lift home. When the young driver says "Whatever mate, I've only had a couple" the older man says "...You get into that car, or get yourself killed or kill someone else and I become part of it too..."
When the young man asks "how" the older man says "...Well, it's like my balls are in your
The advertisement ends with the words "Stop someone drink driving. Legend."
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, C Vermeulen, said: The advert deals with youngsters going to drive home .A grey haired man tells the it would be better if they drive them home. He ultimately tells the youngsters that he knows their Mom and if something happens to them and they drive "his BALLS are in their hands" If find the above statement to be offensive and completely unnecessary. Foul language is used on New Zealand television too many times and nobody seems to worry. Foul language on a public medium is offesive at any time of the day or
The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 11, Rule 5.
The Chair noted the Complainant's concerns the older man's statement about the young
man's balls being in his "hands" was offensive and completely unnecessary.
The Chair referred to a precedent decision for this same advertisement, Complaint 14/655,
which was ruled "No Grounds to Proceed".
In this decision the Chairman took into account the advertisement was an advocacy advertisement from the Government agency responsible for road safety education. The Chairman noted that in a survey looking at the acceptability of expletives on television and radio, conducted in 2013, the words "balls" was ranked 25th of 31.
The Chairman said the term's low ranking meant it was unlikely to cause serious offence to the majority of viewers and "the importance of the safety message outweighed any offence caused".
Therefore, in the light of the precedent decision, the Chair ruled the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and there was no apparent breach of Basic Principle 4 or Rules 5 & 11 of the Code of Ethics. Accordingly, the Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed