New Zealand Law Society - Authority rejects complaint over Picton tourist brochure

Authority rejects complaint over Picton tourist brochure

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The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint that a tourist guide for Picton is misleading.

The booklet, Visit Picton & Waikawa Bay, Marlborough Sounds NZ contains advertisements for a range of attractions and statements about the port town and the surrounding area.

The complainant said some of the advertisements and claims in the visitor guide were misleading, notably that the Edwin Fox is not the world’s oldest merchant ship, as suggested, but “simply the hulk/hull of a wooden sailing vessel”.  The complainant also objected to text saying the Queen Charlotte Track, was “70km” long, claiming it was 71km, and that is was  misleading to say Picton is fast becoming “a firm favourite with New Zealanders” and has “some of the best weather in New Zealand”.

The complainant, demanded that the adverts be corrected and the brochure reprinted.

The authors of the Guide, said the information on the ship was sourced from the internet, the Edwin Fox Society and from books. It told the board, “the Edwin Fox is the 9th oldest Ship in the world, the oldest surviving ‘convict’ Ship (convict being a term used for Australian prisoners exclusively) and the oldest surviving merchant ship in the world. There is another old ship surviving but it was not used predominantly as a merchant ship and insomuch cannot take claim as the oldest merchant ship today.”

The Edwin Fox Society also wrote a lengthy submission in defence of the brochure’s text.

The Complaints Board was unanimous in its view the Visit Picton guide was not likely to mislead or deceive consumers and the claims made by the advertiser were substantiated.