New Zealand Law Society - Anti-vax ad attracts most complaints to advertising watchdog

Anti-vax ad attracts most complaints to advertising watchdog

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says during 2018, 63% of the advertisements judged to have a case to answer resulted in removal or change.

The authority’s annual report also notes the bulk (42%) of complaints were about television commercials, followed by advertiser’s websites (17%) and digital – including social media (12%). Just 8% of complaints related to print media and 6% to radio.

The area that attracted most complaints were therapeutics and health (17%), food and beverage (16%) and household goods (15%).

The most complained about ad was for Waves NZ which attracted 146 complaints, ten times that of the next most complained against ad. The ad showed a man holding a baby with the words: “If you knew the ingredients in a vaccine, would you RISK it?” The complaints were upheld.

“In a world where advertising is evolving at an ever-increasing pace, the value of the ASA as a platform-neutral, responsive and robust regulator to set standards and assess compliance is clear,” says ASA chair Heather Roy.