Trade Me Limited Television
COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/106
COMPLAINANT A Webb
ADVERTISER Trade Me Limited ADVERTISEMENT Trade Me Limited Television
DATE OF MEETING 4 April 2017
OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The Trade Me television advertisement runs with an over-arching message "Everything has a story." It then shows various images while the voiceover lists story headings such as love, hope, frustration and adventure. It includes categories such as "Holy crap stories" and "What the hell stories." The voiceover states that behind each of Trade Me's listings, there is one of these life stories.
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, A Webb, said: The Trade Me advert uses the phrases "What the hell?" very clearly. This is inappropriate language to be aired at this time, early in the evening when young children are still up out of bed, and especially during a daily news show that many, many people tune into. A time more appropriate such as after 8:30pm is more appropriate.
The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 4.
The Chair noted the Complainant's concerns that the advertisement used inappropriate language for the time it was broadcast.
The Chair referred to a precedent decision, Complaint 16/286, based on a very similar advertisement depicting almost identical images and dialogue. In that ruling the Chair noted that the language used "was unlikely to cause serious and widespread offence, and did not clearly offend against generally prevailing community standards when taking into account the context, medium, audience and product".
The Chair noted that the word 'Hell' was not listed on the Unacceptable Words On
Television and Radio list, published by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
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