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The election campaign and the sponsored Herald article

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, August 25th, 2020 - 58 comments
Categories: covid-19, election 2020, health, Media, national - Tags:

This article popped up in the Herald this morning.  The first thing that I noticed was that it was sponsored content.  The subject seemed slightly weird for sponsored content.  Usually you expect to read industry specific news.

But this one decided to delve into the politics of Covid 19.  The author, Radius Care executive chairman Brien Cree starts off by saying that New Zealand urgently needs a new agency, independent of the Ministry of Health and able to make quick decisions to help fight Covid-19.  Sound familiar?

He then makes claims which are somewhat misleading.  Such as it is taking five days to get a Covid test.  There are some reports of delays of five days in getting test results but this appears to be localised and the exception rather than the norm.

He thinks that people with experience in large businesses should take over the handling of Covid.  I am sure that would end well.  He also thinks that the aged care industry were quick and the Government was slow.  I thought the first lockdown and the roll out of the wage subsidy were classic examples of the Government acting quickly and decisively.

The whole article is a thinly disguised attack on the Government’s handling of Covid-19 and support of National’s lead Covid 19 policy.  But it will not count as paid electoral advertising even though it is published during the election period.

The author Brien Cree is on the NBR rich list.

I appreciate that finances in the media industry are strained but corporate sponsored articles critical of the government during an election campaign period raise many, many issues.

58 comments on “The election campaign and the sponsored Herald article ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    Radius care needs to take a long hard look at itself before criticizing others short comings.

    During the outbreaks where was the PPE gear for workers virtually none provided ,workers had reuse masks.

    Associated workers and back door deliveries were not kept safe from vulnerable residents.No plan for elimating cross contamination.

  2. Pat 2

    Nothing new there…theyve been doing it for decades, the only difference now is that more are aware of it.

    and an aside…..wheres Judith and Gerry?

    • AB 2.1

      "where's Judith and Gerry?"

      It looks a bit like the Christmas Truce. "Dr Shane" is out the front – all sweet reasonableness – playing a gentlemanly game of football with the enemy. Once the campaign proper starts, Judith and Gerry will rush out, helmets askew, shouting gibberish and throwing incendiary ordure in all directions, including at their own side unintentionally.

    • Robert Guyton 2.2

      Judith's having her eyebrows done – Gerry too, probably.

  3. PsyclingLeft.Always 3

    Yea I'm sure a Rich Lister of the "Rest Home" aka"Granny Farmer" is someone who has the best Interests of NZ at heart….

    The battles of the low paid caregivers would be a clue….

  4. Drowsy M. Kram 4

    What a magnificently white set of gnashers – 'All the better to gouge you with, my dear.'

  5. mac1 5

    If anyone wants a reason as to why this is happening now, consider why there were no corporate funded articles outside of the election period.

    Also, are these advertisements, not articles?

    How does a journalist feel about their domain, supposedly of the impartial fourth estate observer and critic, being usurped by monied interests?

    Can we say even that these monied interests have New Zealand's own interests at heart, or is this international capital splashing out at countries who dare to be different to what they want?

    Does this move have an equivalence in other states where foreign influence is felt?

    Even if this is purely a domestic move, we should resent the method and motivation to avoid normal electoral practice.

    Maybe the journalist profession should investigate and expose the connections, the misinformation and the practice with its possible influence in the introduction of political advertising disguised as journalism.

  6. Ad 6

    Given how fast we are ageing, the entire country is getting close to resembling a locked down retirement village anyway.

    But seriously … Hey Mickey shall we do one ourselves?

  7. Sacha 7

    This is what happens when farcical rulings are made that a sitting MP hosting a radio slot during an election campaign does not count as electioneering – but a graphic poster by unrelated artists does.

    Wonder if the Electoral Commission regard paid editorial as an advertisement, or as ‘editorial content’?

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Can anyone hear a constant whine like a skill saw? Yes, another entitled wanker is pushing the “business is suffering” meme–which essentially translates to “get back to work you wretches and risk dying for our corporate profits”.

    So its a big eff you Mr Cree. Road Transport, Hospitality, Business Associations, and even Fruit and Veg merchants! are across the media constantly–I would like to see working class people doing it hard to the extent they are using Sikh kitchens and food banks, get more acknowledgement and publicity until something meaningful is done for them; such as immediate free Wifi and fare free Public Transport. Reforms that could easily be instituted by the timid Labour Caucus without burying neo liberalism…yet.

    • Pat 8.1

      Yes, its getting nauseous….business are suffering the impact of reduced demand created by inequality, something that historically (recent) has been the preserve of the working class.

      Where were the cries of 'they need support' during the rounds of restructuring and downsizing suffered by the redundant in events past?…..absent with cries of necessity. competition, TINA, unsustainable and unaffordable.

      The hypocrisy and exceptionalism runs deep.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Wife's father had a Covid test at 3pm yesterday. Negative result back before 9am this morning.

  10. greywarshark 10

    He'd look great as a pirate in one of Johnny Depp's Pirate films!

    Anything that suits him is an obvious choice of possible moves. And this;

    The whole article is a thinly disguised attack on the Government’s handling of Covid-19 and support of National’s lead Covid 19 policy. But it will not count as paid electoral advertising even though it is published during the election period.

    We've got the long wearying finish to the marathon on October 17. There will be more of this from the woman and man-ipulators of the right wing.

    And if MoBIE has its way, with added rich US-Americans.

  11. KJT 11

    Test Sunday. Results Monday afternoon. When they were testing thousands of border workers.

  12. KJT 12

    Central Government running and funding of rest homes.

    Without the piss taking profiteers, who seem incapable of running them safely in the middle, would be good.

    And. We've tried business drones in charge for decades. Which is why we didn't have the capacity to cope with large demands on the health system, border control and State services, now!

  13. KJT 13

    Central Government running and funding of rest homes?

    Without the piss taking profiteers, who seem incapable of running them safely in the middle, would be good.

    And. We've tried business drones in charge for decades. Which is why we didn't have the capacity to cope with large demands on the health system, border control and State services, now!

    • roblogic 13.1

      Yes the "free" market in healthcare is a model of exploitation and corner cutting in the name of profit. The incentives are all wrong

    • gsays 13.2

      Central Government running and funding of rest homes?

      In the interim, but Central Government helps shift society, so our most vulnerable, young and elderly, have their needs met in the family home.

  14. Pataua4life 14

    I have a question for MS.

    Based on what you know, did Dr Bloomfield know his image was going to be used in a Labour Party "Ad"

    • Just Is 14.1

      The ad with Bloomfield was for the MOH, for which he is the "Director".

      The ad was deemed to be non political as it was promoting the department and procedures, it was also proven that No Rules were broken.

      But since we have a Govt and a Leader that has a level of honesty, integrity and consideration that hasn't been seen for more that\n a decade, it's difficult for some to comprehend.

      Seymour has made more Gaffs in the last 6 months than any time in the past, his popularity is due to Nationals decline in the polls, Nat supporters jumping ship.

      Seymour was just using this for his own personal political gain, had the shoe been on the other foot, Seymour would have cried foul, it's not illegal.

      Which it wasn't.

      We have a real Govt with real values.

      • Enough is Enough 14.1.1

        Why was it taken down?

        • Just Is 14.1.1.1

          Jacinda Ardern deeemed it was a distraction from what the Govt was trying to achieve. Seymour made a song and dance about it, but for Seymour it more about the media attention, look at me.

          She commented yesterday during the briefing when asked about the Ad, her response was that there are dozens of Govt ads for various departments with her in the frame, because she appears in the ads/infomercials doesn't make it an election advertisement, they're generally describing enhancements to Govt department policies and changes that affect the general public.

  15. Observer Tokoroa 15

    Hlook at me – look at me

    I was not impressed with RNZ Morning Report – today. A female sports person constantly on the morning report, neither properly acknowledged the Prime Minister but went further and tried to tell us that Face Mask is mandatory all the time. Day and night. She got that info from a lightweight Guy who springs from some university somewhere, and shows no knowledge of any significance.

    That same Female sports Lady put a long number of her friends and children on TV. To make sure that adults would get nothing of any importance from 6am until 9am.

    I am amazed a mere sports person would place herself above the audience and above the Prime Minister.

    • Just Is 15.1

      Does she have a name?

      Key elevated these sports people by awarding them Knighthoods and Dames, I have to ask what great public voluntary work did they provide our society to receive the award.

      None

      With an election looming, all the nut jobs are oozing out of the woodwork offering their entitled opinions, and that's all they are, opinions.

      Facts no longer matter, Fake News is prevalent.

      Society is struggling to Discriminate the difference.

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        That face mask thing I wondered about it. I think they don't want people abused in the street or forbidden to enter premises because they haven't got one. But while it isn't a sure fire saviour I think it is recognised that it is wise to wear them and keep the aerosols that come out with speech to a minimum. So I am wearing a mask when I go into premises and I ask if we can all do that. Myself I take it off when I go outside. Also when I am inside and my glasses get steamed up so I can't see anything.

        Does anyone know if my lenses would be affected if I put car demister on them? Or perhaps a thin spread of laundry or dishwash detergent over them?

        • Sabine 15.1.1.1

          i clean my glasses with dishwasher liquid and it has never caused issues.

          If you can get made masks with a bit of a metal strip over the nose all you need to do is press it firmly around the nose and it should stop the misting.

          When going back to work at the last level three i wore a mask for the full day at work with glasses and fogging was not really an issue.

          A thing that we used while riding motorbikes was a spray to polish your wood – i prefer lemon scented – that we used to spray on the visor to help rain perl off but also to stop misting.

  16. Ungrateful sod, this Government has saved his inmates/ revenue stream customers from dying of COVID but he's too arrogant to see it.

  17. Gabby 17

    Rest home turnover must be dropping. Need new clients.

  18. joe90 18

    Separated at birth…

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 18.1

      lol…Its def genetic…..(I have had dealings with the likes of …and neither Ethics nor Compassion are in their DNA)

    • gsays 18.2

      Heh, when I saw the photo I thought it had all been down hill since 'Six Months in a Leaky Boat'.

  19. woodart 19

    a sponsored article is an advert, and should be called that, and treated like any other advert. BUYER BEWARE! contents may not be as advertised.

    • In Vino 19.1

      Not only that.

      It is clearly promoting National policy, and as such, its cost should be counted as a donation to the National Party's campaign costs.

  20. tc 20

    Back in the day it would have had 'Advertising' plastered at the top but now even sitting MP's can do radio shows during an election campaign and that's just fine.

    National and that double dipping or is it a pullya provided public service

    • woodart 20.1

      20 yrs ago, john laws and alan jones got done big time for doing the exact same thing. "a news item from our friends in the trucking industry etc" from memory both were fined over half a mill. not enough to buy a fixer upper now, but big dosh then.

  21. Marcus Morris 21

    Cree doesn't half look like the creep who managed the Rest Home in "Waiting for God".

  22. weka 22

    'rest home chain' makes me cringe before I read anything else.

  23. Ken 23

    And it needs to be taken away from the government and run by a private corporation so all that luverley money can be doled out in fat salaries and bonuses and dividends to executives and shareholders, 'cause those old people won't be around much longer, and what use do they have for flash cars and luxury yachts and cocaine anyway?

  24. Incognito 24

    How can this pass as ‘sponsored’ content? I thought this implies that the sponsor has no control over the content. For example, a journalist visits the rest home chain and writes an article about it. However, there’s no authorship indicated other than that it is all Mr Cree’s opinion. In other words, it is an Opinion piece written by Mr Cree. As such, it is misleading to call it ‘sponsored’ by his chain because it clearly aims to influence opinion, i.e. it is political propaganda and to me an insidious form of astroturfing.

    Astroturfing is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization (e.g., political [my italics], advertising, religious or public relations) to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants. It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source's financial connection.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing

    I’m sure it is ‘pretty legal’.

  25. georgecom 25

    can someone enlighten me

    should that sponsored article have a political endorsement on it, coming as it does during the election campaign period?

    If it should have, I might be dropping a line to the electoral commission.

    • georgecom 25.1

      maybe I should say political authorisation,does this paid content article need a political authorisation statement?

  26. I love that the herald always claims it is independent and totally free of political bias.

    The media are complaining about losing customers.

    Customers are sick of being lied to by media.

    Media need "HEADLINES".

    As in war truth is the first victim in headline hunting.

    The herald is despicable. Auckland has enough problems, it does not need the herald.

  27. JanM 27

    I'll be glad when this photo goes – it gives me the creeps !!!

  28. Mike 28

    I rang the election commission on this. They regard pieces like this as advertorials and there must be clear attribution as well as being disclosed as part of electoral funding.

    • Georgecom 28.1

      I emailed the commission last night myself, referenced the article, and ask their opinion whether it required an authorisation statement at the very least

      • georgecom 28.1.1

        for anyone interested, this is the reply I received from the Electoral Commission to my question as to whether a promoter statement was required.

        Paid or sponsored articles in newspapers are capable of being election advertisements. However, advocacy about political issues is not election advertising unless it has the effect of identifying positions of parties or candidates on those issues and encouraging voters to vote by reference to those positions.

        Having reviewed the sponsored Herald article, we consider that it is not an election advertisement and therefore does not require a promoter statement.

  29. sigh. once again the herald gets away with blatant national party propaganda, promoting managerial/ executive bonuses, shareholder returns plus directorial fes.

    the herald really, truly, is a disgusting thing.

    2 b fair there are a lot of "opinionists apparently flourishing out there in msm land purporting to be journalists (and therefore above criticism).

    The herald exemplifies what is the corrosive link between political and capital interests.

    Guess who spends the most money on media?

    The entire Media Chattering Class need to sort themselves out. Are they advertising pimps, touts, sluts? Or are they Noble Upholders Of Truth And Integrity?

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