Complaint: 17/134

Placemakers Digital Marketing


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COMPLAINANT L Jankowska ADVERTISER Placemakers ADVERTISEMENT Placemakers Digital Marketing DATE OF MEETING 26 April 2017

OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed

Advertisement: Placemakers Punt for Prizes Direct email advertisment, links Sonny Bill Williams' return to the Crusaders with the Jesus Christ by stating - "His was the most well publicised return from injury since the crucifixion."

The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Complainant, L Jankowska, said: The statement "His was the most well publicised return from injury since the crucifixion", comparing Sonny Bill Williams' injury preventing him from playing rugby, to the suffering and death of Jesus via torture and execution is grossly offensive to Christians. Even worse, this was part of an Easter promotion. I am not sure if this falls under the Authority, but I hope it does.

The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4; Code for People in

Advertising - Basic Principle 3, Basic Principle 6.

The Chair noted the Complainant's concern that the comparison between Sonny Bill Williams return to the Crusaders and the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is offensive to Christians.

The Chair took into account that the Advertiser sought to use light-hearted humour to connect its subject with Easter celebrations. While this was offensive to the Complainant, the Chair confirmed that humour and satire were permissible under the Advertising Codes. The Chair's view was that the advertisement did not reach the threshold to be considered a breach of the Code of Ethics or the Code for People in Advertising.

Therefore the Chair ruled the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed