New Zealand Law Society - Consumers unhappy with lockdown ads says watchdog

Consumers unhappy with lockdown ads says watchdog

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has experienced a spike in complaints during the Covid-19 crisis.

Its Chief Executive Hilary Souter says the rise is due to consumers having had time to access more media platforms and being alert to advertising in the current environment.

“We prioritised complaints related to COVID-19 and implemented a process to fast track complaints about ads with misleading or inaccurate claims in order to protect vulnerable audiences” she says in the Authority’s June newsletter.

Ms Souter notes that the ASA has received at least 22 complaints related to Covid-19 issues, ranging from organic foods, natural health products, sanitiser, and even furniture. Eleven advertisements have been removed or altered to comply with the Advertising Codes. <

Meanwhile, the ASA is also seeing an increase in complaints regarding election and referenda advertising, with advocacy related complaints doubling in the year to December 2019.