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National advertisements ruled misleading

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, September 13th, 2019 - 32 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, julie anne genter, making shit up, national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

It is a shame we do not have a three strikes regime when it comes to misleading political advertising.  Because National recently had two different advertisements ruled misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority.

From Henry Cooke at Stuff:

A National Party ad arguing Government policies will make cars up to $6000 more expensive has been ruled misleading by the advertising watchdog.

A second ad comparing the Provincial Growth Fund and Pharmac was also ruled against, although a minority of the panel sided with National.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found against a Facebook advertisement promoted by the party attacking the Government’s proposed ‘feebate policy’ and the accompanying fuel efficiency standard. The ASA said it was “likely to mislead consumers”.

The ASA, which has no statutory power over National, asked that the ad be removed from the web.

The ad claimed that because the clean car standard could result in penalties for car importers who don’t meet an average emission standard across their entire fleet, those costs could be passed on to consumers in higher car prices.

This, combined with the “feebate” scheme which applies subsidies for some cars by imposing penalties on others, could turn into a $6000 fee on vehicles, the ad argued, noting that Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter had described the policy as imposing a “small fee”.

“What hope does an ordinary Kiwi have for getting some relief from taxes and costs if the people running the Government think $6000 is a small fee” the ad asked.

The ad was the subject of two complaints from a J Lawson and A Currie who said it was misleading, as the largest fee possible under the feebate scheme itself was $3000 – and this only applied to small number of newly imported vehicles.

National has said that it plans to appeal the decision.  Obviously the ability to broadcast fake and misleading advertising is an important campaign tool that it does not want to lose.

32 comments on “National advertisements ruled misleading ”

  1. lprent 1

    National – the way to truth is to lie.

  2. Sabine 2

    Funny thing is cars and gasoline should be much more expensive then they are. The cost of our environmental degradation that can be laid on the feet of oversized ego driven private transport should be added on to sales price.

    But then, that would be us admitting that our 'lifestyle' ain't affordable and no one would like that, be they blue, red, green, black or yellow with purple dots.

    • gsays 2.1

      Do you live in a city or large town Sabine?

      The reason I ask is there are lots of us, that live rurally that do not have access to public transport.

      I suppose that is the reason why you have said that fuel isn't expensive enough.

      However, I see a parallel between that arguement and 'if you cant afford to live in Auckland move out'. Regardless of circumstances, family, obligations etc.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        However, I see a parallel between that arguement and ‘if you cant afford to live in Auckland move out’. Regardless of circumstances, family, obligations etc.

        Personally I live in Suvkland because of the type of work I can do here. The only other place in NZ that has a concentration of engineering and programming skills aimed at exports is in ChCh and it is pretty small by comparison. Everywhere else in NZ has ag best only a couple of employers and a need to move cities everytime I need a new project to work on.

        And I am really uninterested in projects that do more than about 5% of their full run business in NZ. It is a great place to prototype. Too small a market.

        • Instauration 2.1.1.1

          Yes Lynn

          Auckland is certainly a magnet for people with the skills of your profession.

          But what is Auckland ?

          Just a Bazley imposed agglomeration of entities, that would otherwise prevail and prosper – with no mandate for such imposition.

          [deleted]

          Oscar and Maria lament the passing of their father.

          Goodness will always Win.

        • Instauration 2.1.1.2

          Lynn – do you provide services – in any way – to/for/contractually [deleted]

          Just asking ?

          • lprent 2.1.1.2.1

            Ummm… That sounds like a question you want to ask me via email. It violates site policy about harassment – which we get a bit sensitive about after seeing Cameron Slater in action.

            I tend to be a bit more extreme and very legal about it. Which is among one of the many reasons that Cameron is now bankrupt. He once attempted to attack me via one of my previous employers.

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    Interesting part of the ASA decision on their PGF- Pharmac ad

    "A minority of the Complaints Board said that despite the confusing funding figures, the intent of the advertisement was to highlight the Government’s spending priorities on the Provincial Growth Fund over Pharmac. A minority said taking into account context, medium and audience, the political advocacy advertisement had not met the threshold to mislead or deceive consumers"

    Spending more on Pharmac ? WE know that the Pharmac money was to come from the Health budget

    The Broadcasting Authority seems to have much looser standards and interprets 'accuracy' very loosely under 'opinion and advocacy' where making it up is allowed
    Search results of decisions including National Party keywords
    BSA and National Party

    Contrast their free pass for the Nats with the BSA Code

    Advertisements must not mislead or be likely to mislead, deceive or confuse consumers, abuse their trust or exploit their lack of knowledge. This includes by implication, inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, unrealistic claim, omission, false representation or otherwise.

    • lprent 3.1

      The Broadcasting Authority seems to have much looser standards and interprets ‘accuracy’ very loosely under ‘opinion and advocacy’ where making it up is allowed

      That is because the ASA is a industry self-regulatory body. The advertising industry gets a considerable amount of money from National (and these days a trivial amount for every other political party). So they act as a self-interested buffer for the industry and their clients to prevent them from having to go to court.

      Personally I think that all self-regulatory oversight bodies periodically need to themselves be audited by an external body – possibly by judges (based on the number of judicial reviews that decisions in various guild bodies lose).

      If they aren’t up to standard then have their regulatory and legislative protections removed. That would probably improve their deliberations. I suspect that would provide them a better incentive to adjust their balances between the dodgy edge-walkers and the the bulk of their industry.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        +100 on self-regulatory bodies.

      • Dukeofurl 3.1.2

        The reverse seems to be True .

        This story is about ASA ruling National ad misleading -according to its standards

        Yet the BSA – the government body – based on the decisions linked to – allows misleading ads as 'advocacy' when they clearly "mislead or be likely to mislead, deceive or confuse "

        example- Kumar and Radio Network- Not Upheld.

        'that political party advertising is broadcast in the context of a robust political arena in the lead-up to a general election. The reference to other parties’ policy costs was analysis and interpretation by the National Party, and acceptable in this context.'

        example -Pekepo and Mediaworks – Not upheld

        ' that political party advertising is broadcast in the context of a robust political arena in the lead-up to a general election."

        Allan and mediaworks TV- not upheld

        "Election advertisements promoting party policies, by their nature, are not ‘factual’. Viewers understand that they are highly political, often hyperbolic vehicles for advocacy, and are able to form their own views about any particular policy. Viewers would not have been misled."

        Yet the BSA Code is very clear on advertisements about deceiving or confusing or exploiting consumers lack of knowledge.

        There is a specialised BSA code of practice for 'Political programs' which seems is designed to keep program makers on the straight and narrow. No separate published code on Political Ads yet there is an ad hoc one in practice.

        Looking further at the Political Election programs they apply to ‘ads’ which advocate people to vote for or not vote for a party or person .
        So could be more complicated than I assumed.
        “An election programme may include
        debate, advocacy and opinion, but factual information should be clearly distinguishable from opinion or advocacy.”
        https://bsa.govt.nz/assets/Broadcasting-Standards/Broadcasting-Standards-Codebook/The-Election-Code/beac1f780e/Election-Programmes-Code-May-2011-Edition-English.pdf

  4. tc 4

    "…the ability to broadcast fake and misleading advertising is an important campaign tool.." Totally Mickey and they'll keep doing it, appealing, paying fines whatever it takes to keep up the shit slinging.

  5. Nick 5

    The reality is that the Natz apply that lying 'ethos' to every single activity because that's how they succeed to power and money. It's a foundation of the party character.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Apparently the BSA is setting up a special team for the election to ensure their response time is measured in days rather than weeks.

    I look forward to National's election campaign becoming mired in accusations of lying ads on social media and the NZ Electorate being treated to the sight of Simon Bridges hysterically smearing the BSA as a part of giant liberal conspiracy against him.

  7. michelle 7

    I think many NZers an see right through soimon and his best mate pulla

  8. Wensleydale 8

    National being dishonest again? I am shocked.

    But seriously, expect a lot more of the same sort of chicanery from Team Blue in the run up to the election. It's pretty much the only game they know how to play. And they're not even that good at it.

  9. Daveski 9

    I suppose it is a positive that Labour supporters now believe advertising rules should be followed.

  10. cleangreen 10

    Yes Daveski
    but national needs to come clean and admit they will sell much more next time.

    National stands for =

    N“Now

    A all

    T takeovers

    I investments

    O on line

    N negotiations

    A are

    L lucrative”

  11. adam 11

    This is the point, make people distrust democracy. That is the only thing national have been doing for the last 30 odd years.

  12. John Clover 12

    And Labour are so pure and cleam …yeah RIGHT 🙂

    • left_forward 12.1

      What's purity and cleamliness got to do with it?

      • cleangreen 12.1.1

        Yes left forward.

        John Clover said “And Labour are so pure and cleam yeah RIGHT”

        What’s purity got to do with politics anyway???

        Just see what the National Government did to another ‘Labour hopeful’ PM back before the 2014 election!!!!!!

        Remember when David Cunliffe was looking like being the last labour PM when he showed his ‘humanity’ he was viciously cut to pieces by the Media attack dogs and reduced to breaking down and with tears apologised to the nation that he was only a man????

        So we now see the ‘Me Too’ movement as a weapon of our modern political war today, and the ‘Me too’ was allegedly ‘financed’ by the infamious George Soros “a convicted criminal no less in a french court), so politics is a dirty business as the evidence stacks up for sure.

  13. Ad 13

    I don't believe it's possible to effectively regulate political advertising now.

    So let's join in.

    Given the speed of putting up political attack ads, and the even faster speed in which they echo and amplify around the campaign discourse, there's no legal tool that can act fast enough to stop its vote-altering effects in time.

    (Even in the more extreme case such as the Christchurch terror attack, there are laws against redistribution of offensive material and successful prosecutions, but no effective instrument that can stop them in time to stop their societal effect. The digital empires continue to successfully resist such regulation.)

    Th advertising propaganda takes effect …

    …. and sometimes we get apologies afterwards.

    Given that it's not currently regulatable, the left-leaning parties should use this kind of digital advertising attack more, not less.

    • Incognito 13.1

      I disagree.

      What little that differentiates parties to and for the general public is (in) their words and deeds. What you seem to be suggesting is they become more similar by adopting the same attack-style propaganda ads. I would be disappointed if this small but still significant point of difference were to disappear from people’s minds first and then from the politicians’ minds next. I think it would lead to more people switching off politics and less voter engagement and thus lower turnouts at elections. This can’t be a good thing IMO.

      A way forward would be a combination of stronger and faster regulation and self-regulation. Political parties could (also) voluntarily sign up to a mutual and non-partisan agreement to behave and set the tone & standard for political discourse and public debate. I believe that would be more effective than forced regulation and heavy-handed slow and costly legal and semi-legal processes.

      • Ad 13.1.1

        I'd love to see a regulatory system that could cope with that, at the speed needed to turn them off.

        Doesn't exist.

        So in the meantime, until one occurs, it's better for the left to stop getting kicked all over the digital universe by elements who have fewer principles. We have to stop losing right across the world.

        In the absence of regulation or even a moral framework that might limit political stretch in advertising ……………… just win.

        • Incognito 13.1.1.1

          There are things that parties could do right now but they seem hesitant if not reluctant, which doesn’t bode well for the future.

          The transparency tool has been available to political parties since June, but several parties reacted with surprise when asked by Stuff why they had not yet signed up.

          The Green Party immediately said it would contact Facebook to sign itself up for the extra reporting requirement.

          NZ First, ACT, and National all said they were still to consider the matter.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/115198193/facebook-ads-will-dominate-the-next-election–but-our-politicians-dont-have-to-tell-us-about-them?rm=a

          I still struggle how you stop being kicked “by elements who have fewer principles” by ditching some of your own principles. It is a race to the bottom and once there what distinguishes the two sides? We need break the cycle of Left vs. Right as two shadows of each other in some kind of macabre mortal combat – it can never be won, it can never be finished because it has become a binary proposition instead of dualistic one.

          I thought you were talking about NZ but it seems I got that wrong; I am not familiar with the international scene to comment on that.

          What I do see is that tensions and fears have been on the rise across the world. The instinctive reaction is to hunker down, protect what you’ve got, and stick with status quo and the Devil you know. The Left is too timid and lacks imagination and courage to come up with a viable alternative. Thus, it reverts to stuff that used to work in the past, a kind of cargo cult politics, in the hope that it will miraculously work (again) through some kind of nostalgic sentimental magic or make-believe. The world has changed and is changing rapidly and it only leads to regressive reactionary politics.

          If the Left ‘wins’ by offering some kind of policy platform that is built on a timid and outdated dreamy version of an ideology that never truly evolved and lived up to its true potential, it is not a win; a slow down or pause in the backward slide is no real progress and if we believe that, we’re fooling ourselves.

          If all parties were sucked into the rabbit hole of post-truth politics, I would probably lose hope for a better future. For example, how on Earth [no pun] would any party handle CC/AGW if they attack and are attacked using propaganda ads? Do you honestly believe that these ads would only be used in and for election campaigns? The National Party of NZ has been ‘campaigning’ since 19 October 2017.

          I know you’re a deep thinker, Ad, and I hope you will respond with something that challenges my comment 🙂

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