ASA Decision Hostile to Welfare of Families

Family First NZ has labeled a recent decision by the Advertising Standards Authority as being spineless, morally bankrupt and hostile to the welfare of families after they failed to uphold complaints against Hell Pizza HELL-O magazine.

The glossy 20-page magazine, included with pizza home deliveries and displayed in some branches, included provocative pictures of Nicky Watson in underwear, offensive comments relating to the use of condoms, an insensitive article regarding the death of Steve Irwin, objectionable language, and a tongue-in-cheek article on bestiality. Some of the branches refused to display or deliver them.

“Families do not order pizza to subsequently be confronted by this type of material,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Parents and families are sick and tired of being exposed to objectionable advertising and billboards, which uses sexual images and offensive language to gain attention. Sex may sell, but at what cost to society.”

“It is tragic that at the same time as the country is soul-searching over its high rate of child abuse and domestic violence, the latest crime statistics showing a 15% increase in sexual offences, and sexual misconduct incidents having risen over 25% in schools between 2000 and 2005, the ASA deems it suitable to allow this type of material into the community via a pizza company.”

The ASA said in its decision that deliveries to homes were different to deliveries to letterboxes, despite kids being the possible recipients of the material, and that if a person buys the pizza, they accept the material that comes with it.

“This dangerous and dopey decision by the ASA means that a company delivering anything to your home can include almost any offensive material it likes – because ‘you asked for their product!’”

“The ASA is out of touch with the need to support parents in their important role, and freedom of speech and creative marketing should never be at the expense of the welfare of families,” warns Mr McCoskrie.

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