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Spark NZ Ltd, Digital Marketing, Television
Spark NZ Ltd
Spark NZ Ltd, Digital Marketing,
DATE OF MEETING
26 February 2018
No Grounds to Proceed
http://www.facebook.co/spark4nz, celebrated Pride 2018 and showed two fathers interacting with
their son while the voiceover said "Thanks to you, he'l be supported and grow the confidence
to be himself. Thanks to you, he'l have someone to look up to and stand by him through
any tough times ahead. Thanks to you he can love the person he chooses. Thanks to
members of the rainbow community standing for respect and equality, all Kiwi families will
grow in a country that continues to progress."
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, J Rolston, said: This is blatant social engineering. The message is "he can
grow up to be who he wants to be." What if this voiceless baby wanted to grow up with a
mother AND a father? Shouldn't the message be "so he can grow up to be what THEY want
him to be?"
Is it okay to show an innocent child being manipulated in this way to further advance the
The relevant provisions were Code of Ethics - Basic Principle 4, Rule 5; Code for
People in Advertising - Basic Principle 3
The Chair noted the Complainant's concerns the advertisement was social engineering.
When considering the content of the advertisement, the Chair said the depiction of
homosexuality was not grounds for complaint in itself. The Chair noted that the Board has
considered the depiction of homosexuality on other occasions including in Decisions 15/017
(a television advertisement for Lynx hair products) and 14/537 (an advertisement for Contact
Energy) and held that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offense.
While acknowledging the offence caused to the Complainant, the Chair said in light of
generally prevailing community standards, the advertisement was unlikely to cause serious or
widespread offence. The Chair ruled the advertisement had been prepared with a due
sense of social responsibility to consumers and therefore was not in breach of Basic Principle
4 or Rule 5 of the Code of Ethics or Basic Principle 3 of the Code for People in Advertising.
Accordingly, the Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chair's Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed
According to the procedures of the Advertising Standards Complaints Board, all
decisions are able to be appealed by any party to the complaint. Information on
our Appeal process is on our website http://www.asa.co.nz. Appeals must be made in
writing via email or letter within 14 days of receipt of this decision.