New Zealand Law Society

Navigation menu

Mother’s Day Lotto ad complaint upheld

29 June 2017

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint about a Lotto TV commercial that had “strong and evident appeal to children”.

Lotto’s Mother’s Day advertisement shows a child asleep on a lounge floor in front of a television. A voiceover says: “Isn’t it amazing how your floordrobe returns itself to your wardrobe? How dinner just appears on your plate every night? And no matter where you fall asleep, you always wake up in bed.”

The child is shown being carried to bed by his mother and it is revealed that she has done these things for him. The viewer is then urged to “Thank mum for the magic this Mother’s Day”.

The complainant said the ad was directed at minors and was concerned that children were being encouraged to gamble by buying a Lotto ticket.

The advertiser said the commercial was aimed at adults despite featuring a child. Lotto also said the ad did not appear in any programming “that could be deemed to be primarily targeted towards anyone aged under 18”.

The ASA’s Complaints Board accepted that the advertisement was not screened during children’s programming times, and did not directly target children. Therefore, the complaint was not upheld under the Code for Advertising to Children.

However, the board agreed that the combination of language which could be interpreted as speaking to children and use of present-day images were likely to have strong and evident appeal to children.

It said gambling ads are required to observe a high standard of social responsibility and in this instance the advertisement was in breach of Guideline 2(a) and Principle 2 of the Code for Advertising Gaming and Gambling, and therefore upheld the complaint.

Bauer given green light on Top Restaurants billboard

A billboard promoting Bauer Media’s Metro Magazine Top 50 Restaurants in Auckland showed an image of measuring spoons and the tagline “Who measures up?” 

A complainant claimed that the advertisement was offensive, misleading and deceptive because it created the impression that those restaurants who have not made Metro's Top 50 in some way do not ‘measure up’.

The chair said the advertiser was entitled to promote its top 50 list in a truthful, socially responsible manner and the process used to compile this list was outside the ASA’s jurisdiction. The chair said the image and reference to ‘measuring up’ was not misleading and ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Rules on election advertising

Meanwhile, the ASA is advising advertisers, agencies and the media of their obligations around the content of election advertising, election programmes and other election-related material in broadcast, print and digital media. The election is being held on 23 September.

“There are detailed rules in both the Electoral Act 1993 and the Broadcasting Act 1989 on what political parties, candidates and third parties can and cannot do when campaigning.  Some of those rules impose obligations on both the promoter of the advertising or broadcast and the publisher/broadcaster,” the ASA says.

A key source of information is the Electoral Commission’s Media Handbook.

The ASA Codes of Practice apply to election advertising content and placement (excluding election programmes defined under the Broadcasting Act).  Check the Code of Ethics and the Guidance Note on Advocacy Advertising.

See the Broadcasting Standards Authority Election Programmes Code for political party and candidate advertising on radio and television.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019