Monday, March 21, 2011

Reality intrudes

Childfund New Zealand has apologised for screening adverts showing the plight of African orphans on children's channel Nickelodeon.

Two complaints were laid with the Advertising Standards Authority, one from a woman concerned the appeal was shown during morning ad breaks.
Wut? Yes, rly: here is the decision:


Chairman’s Ruling

16 February 2011

Complaint 11/005

Complainants: K. Whittaker and B. Greiner
Advertisement: ChildFund New Zealand

Complaint: The television advertisement for ChildFund New Zealand showed the plight of orphans living in slums in Africa. The voiceover in the advertisement said, in part:

“In the slums of Africa rain doesn’t always bring relief. It brings death.
Rain spread disease that kills a child every 20 seconds.

Right now orphan children here are dying. You can help them

Complainant, K. Whittaker, said that “This advert has been shown in nearly every advertisement break on Nickelodeon this morning since 8.30. My young daughter has become distressed over the fact that she is expected to sponsor a child and isn’t. I do not feel that the tone of the advert is appropriate for a channel that is designed for children. The advert appeared to state that if you do not sponsor a child then they will die – or this is what my daughter and her friends have gained from the add.”

Complainant, B. Greiner, shared similar views.

The relevant provisions were Basic Principle 4 and Rule 6 of the Code of Ethics.

The Advertiser, ChildFund New Zealand, apologised for any offence the advertisement caused to the Complainants and their daughters. ChildFund New Zealand also said that it was not their strategy to purchase media time during children’s programming, however, the times the advertisement appeared and which prompted the complaints - during children’s programmes - were bonus placements provided by Sky Television. ChildFund New Zealand advised that the advertisement had a G rating from the Commercial Approvals Bureau, which means that the advertisement had been rated as suitable for all audiences, however, the agency responsible for purchasing media time on behalf of the ChildFund New Zealand - Bloodhound Media - will request the relevant television networks not to place any bonus advertisement during children’s programming. ChildFund New Zealand apologised again and added that “as a child-focused agency”, causing distress to children is clearly not their intention

The Chairman noted the Advertiser’s sincere apology to the Complainants and their explanation that steps had been taken to ensure that bonus advertisements were not placed during children’s programming. The Chairman, noting this self-regulatory action, said that it would serve no further purpose to place the advertisement before the Complaints Board. The Chairman ruled that the matter was settled.

Chairman’s Ruling: Complaint Settled
In other news, SpongeBob SquarePants isn't real; and children continue to die because of poverty. What's more, many parents find ways to deal with their children's understandable distress on learning of the suffering of children in other parts of the world. Such parents talk to their children and suggest ways that children can help others. Not these two mothers, though: they want it all blocked out. And they have succeeded, for a while.

No comments: