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Greenpeace NZ, Television
Greenpeace NZ, Television
DATE OF MEETING
30 October 2017
No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The Greenpeace television advertisement showed how turtles were being
affected by plastic waste in the water. The advertisement showed various images of turtles
swimming amongst debris and mistaking plastic bags for jelly fish which can result in the
death of the turtle. The advertisement urges views to support the 'Ban the bag' campaign
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, J Wilkinson, said: to whom it may concern i am writing to complain about 2
advertisements I see constantly shown on channel 5 known as "The Box". The
advertisements I'm referring to are the World Animal Protection and the Green Peace (I'm
pretty sure) advertisement about turtles. I find these ads very saddening and depressing to
see all the time i absolutely care alot for animals so seeing and hearing these ads alot is
very upsetting i know it's aim is trying to get people to donate to help and believe me if i had
money I'd be donating alot in a flash to help them out. I'm not the only one I've heard of
about being upset by these ads if you could lessen the amount of times you show this
advertisement or at least tone down the graphicness of what is being done to these animals
that would be very great.
The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 11, Rule 4, Rule
The Chair noted the Complainant's concern the advertisement depicting the impact of
plastic waste on sea turtles was graphic and upsetting
The Chair confirmed the advertisement met the provisions of Rule 11 of the Code of Ethics
and was an advocacy advertisement. She said the position of the Advertiser on
environmental issues was well known and as an advocacy advertisement, and in the
interests of freedom of expression under section 14 of the Bill of Rights Act 1990, a more
liberal interpretation of the Code was appropriate.
While acknowledging the distress the advertisement had caused the Complainant, the Chair
said advocacy advertisements were entitled to be robust and provocative and often used
confronting images to highlight an issue.
The Chair said, taking into account generally prevailing community standards, the
advertisement was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence. Therefore, it had been
prepared with a due sense of social responsibility and was not in breach of Basic Principle 4
or Rules 4 and 5 of the Code of Ethics.
Accordingly, the Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chair's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed.