Family First NZ is labeling the Advertising Standards Authority a ‘toothless wonder’ after an offensive billboard ruled in breach of advertising standards by the ASA remains on display two weeks after the ruling.
The billboard offering ‘longer lasting sex’ was ruled offensive at an ASA meeting on the 8th April, yet as of today still remains on show.
“This shows that the ASA is a ‘toothless wonder’ that is simply being ignored by the advertising industry,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “The time from when an offensive billboard is first displayed to when a decision is eventually handed down and complied with is far too long and basically a joke.”
“The offensive sign has already done the damage, the advertiser has got the advertising they wanted, the sanctions are pathetic, and families and especially children are the ultimate victims of this offensive material. Self-regulation by the industry is simply not working.”
Family First NZ is calling on a pre-vetting of all billboards, not done by the industry itself, with a committee that has specialists who understand the effect of sexual and offensive billboards on children and families and will advocate for their protection.
“It’s time we started thinking about children first,” says Mr McCoskrie. “Families are sick to death of being confronted with offensive material as they drive along motorways and through commercial areas. The farcical treatment of this sign shows the disdain that some of the advertising industry shows for families, and it also highlights the ineffectiveness of the ASA.”