ASA enters attack politics, upholds complaint against Make New Zealand Great Again

The Make New Zealand Great Again Party failed to make its advertising great again after a complaint against a sponsored Facebook post, suggesting the Labour Party was going to solve child poverty with abortion, was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority. 

The complaint was against a sponsored post on Facebook claiming the Labour Party “will literally kill child poverty”.

The post included a picture of Labour leader Jacinda Ardern alongside the statement: “My Labour Party will end child poverty through abortion. No children. No poverty.”

The complainant, Tess Macintyre, said that given Ardern had never made the statement it’s a misrepresentation of her and misleads the viewers.

The Complaints Board agreed and found the ad to be in breach of Rule Two: Truthful Presentation, and Basic Principle Four of the Code of Ethics: All advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.

As the advertisement tackled a topic about proposed legislation, abortion, the Complaints Board also considered it against Code of Ethics Rule 11 Advocacy Advertising:

The rule states: “Expression of opinion in advocacy advertising is an essential and desirable part of the functioning of a democratic society. Therefore, such opinions may be robust. However, opinion should be clearly distinguishable from factual information. The identity of an advertiser in matters of public interest or political issue should be clear.”

Again, the ad was found to be in breach of the rule by as it created the impression that Ardern had made the statement accompanying her image. The complaint was upheld.

Both the post in question and the Make New Zealand Great Again Party Facebook page have since been deleted.

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