World Animal Protection Television
COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/087
COMPLAINANT K Martin
ADVERTISER World Animal Protection
ADVERTISEMENT World Animal Protection
DATE OF MEETING 12 April 2017
OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The World Animal Protection television advertisment shows images of animals chained up and being trained to perform tricks. The voiceover states that these animals do not have a voice to resist this and need those who love animals to be their voice and "make some noise" by becoming an Animal Protector for $10 a month.
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, K Martin, said: During watching the wonder of animals my 9 year old daughter was exposed to an animal welfare advertisement which disturbed her so much that she has been shocked and upset so much so that she couldn't get to sleep. When she did,she woke up 3 times inconsolable. I am so angry that an advertisement like this can be allowed to air at this time of night, even on news channels late at night they will tell you that images may be upsetting. There of course is not warning for this when an add pops up. How do you suggest I erase these images from her memory? She does understand that the world is not perfect but this was an unnecessary exposure we could have done without.
The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 11, Rule 5.
The Chair acknowledged the Complainant's concerns that the advertisement aired at a time when children were likely to be among the viewing audience.
The Chair referred to a precedent decision, Complaint 15/154, for a similar advertisement, which was ruled No Grounds to Proceed. The Chair confirmed the advertisement for World Animal Protection was intended to raise awareness about the conditions some animals are kept in. While these images can be confronting, Advocacy advertising is provided for under Rule 11 of the Code of Ethics.
The Chair noted the advertisement had been afforded a GXC (General Except Children) rating by the Commercial Approvals Bureau, which meant it may be broadcast at any time except during programmes which are intended specifically for children under the age of 13. The programme in which the advertisement aired, The Wonder of Animals, had been given a General Audience rating, was not targeting children and had played within the constraints of its afforded rating.
While acknowledging the distress the advertisement caused, the Chair said the placement and timing of the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to most people. The Chair ruled the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and there was no apparent breach 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