Ridge in trouble

September 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

Former rugby and rugby league star could face prosecution and a fine of up to $10,000 for advertising his Greenlane car wash company with a mock election advertisement.

The billboard features a picture of Ridge, an All Black who later captained the Kiwis, and uses a play on words to promote the hand-washing car service: “Say no to – We’ll hand wash your car for $15″.

Ridge says it’s just a play on words and he isn’t standing for Parliament.

But Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden says it meets the definition of an election advertisement under the and must have a promoter statement. The Electoral Commission also wants to know whether the advertising campaign will run to more than $12,000 because if it does, the promoter of the ad would have to register as a third party.

The Commission is correct of course they the billboard does need a promoter statement, even though the intent is not political. It is the impact that counts.

Ridge said yesterday the ad was just a parody. “It’s just a bit of fun. I think anybody that’s got half a brain will see that ‘hey look, it’s tongue-in-cheek’.”

He said it wasn’t meant to be “Don’t vote for Labour” though he added that if it doubled as that he would be quite happy “because I wouldn’t vote for Labour anyway”.

Heh.

Tags: , ,

41 Responses to “Ridge in trouble”

  1. jem (40 comments) says:

    I think the ad is brilliant I have to say. Its just alongside the train station I get off at in Penrose.. been there about a week.

    Ridge can afford the $10k anyway… good on him.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. ben (2,386 comments) says:

    Is the Electoral Commission sending the Labour Party the very same letters? I would hope so.

    Any takers on a bet that Ridge is prosecuted and Labour is not? The Commission can’t have it both ways if it wants to remain credible.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Both National and Labour are culpable in this erosion of our freedom of speech.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Manolo (12,637 comments) says:

    Another bummer from the Electoral Commission, proven to be a bunch of precious, overzealous bureaucrats.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Ridge in trouble AGAIN!!!!

    But hey its not like he ran over some guys car in tank is it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. jem (40 comments) says:

    It will be very interesting to see how the commission proceed, considering Labour have been accused of similar billboard indiscretions recently and are yet to be charged.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    It is the impact that counts.

    The impact is a double-take and a laugh, the idea that this should carry a promoter statement is ridiculous…it’s not as if it’s, say, a fake roadsign where a double-take might be dangerous…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Positan (378 comments) says:

    Afflicted as we are so determinedly and compulsively by the dictates of political correctness, we’re obviously hell-bent on proving ourselves more idiotic by the day.

    How on earth could a sign that said, “SAY NO TO LABOUR,” be deemed to be promoting anything other than a negative idea? In addition, Ridge isn’t a politician or even standing for office, so how could the sign possibly be in breach of Electoral Commission dictates – or Ridge be remotely liable for a $10,000 fine. Even better, who was likely to be influenced by the sign anyway? Who on Earth is going to vote Labour?

    Jeez, I wish it’d been me. Just think of the fun you could have showing up this example of utter inanity by posturing representatives of nonsensical officialdom in court.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    If the Electoral Commission prosecute Ridge it well be example 48799 of political correctness.

    To those who dont want to get it get a life get over it move on

    Get a humour transplant.

    Go Ridgey

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Weihana (4,475 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg – I agree. Not only do they steal taxpayers money to fund their campaigns, thereby giving unfair advantage to the status quo, they regulate how we communicate between each other with our own money. If this ad has political impact so what? It only has impact if the viewer allows it to and that should be their right free from government interference.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    The electoral commission should sit on its hands and shonky johnkey should sort this law out by scrapping it.
    Why can’t an individual say what they want as long as it is not offensive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Labour will probably be quite chuffed by this. I don’t imagine any party would welcome being endorsed by Matthew Ridge.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Pete George (21,826 comments) says:

    We have very odd electoral regulations if an apparently unconnected individual can get into trouble for having no promoter statement on a commericial advertising billboard but party members can post as much direct party promotion they like on the Internet apparently without needing promoter statements – all they have to do is claim it is “opinion”.

    I got into trouble pointing this out: http://thestandard.org.nz/labours-plan-for-christchurch/#comment-376340

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Or a lie to the media greenie stooge toad.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    Just who IS going to vote Labour this year? The reception that Key got at two RWC matcvhes suggests that he has the rugby vote, and now that Sir Peter Leitch has endorsed Key and Ridgey’s said he wouldn’t vote Labour the Rugby League vote is bleeding away. Labour is history.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2011/09/thats-league-vote-gone.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,677 comments) says:

    Hey, this is SOOOoooooo good.

    If he is fined $10,000 he should demand Colmar Brunton now include ‘Matthew Ridge’ in its preferred PM poll.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Scott Chris (5,682 comments) says:

    Robert Peden – “it meets the definition of an election advertisement”

    I suppose it does, but I wonder if Ridge can wriggle out of it, as the intent is plainly commercial.

    Very funny, and very clever controversy marketing. Worth every cent of the fine if there is one. No doubt a National Party member will pay it for him anyway.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    Well since the font is block capitals, who’s to say the sign says “Labour” when it could just as easily be saying “labour” which of course cannot be referring to the political party…

    Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to call a washing machine a “labour saving device”…

    Nor advertise for a “labourer”…

    Not to “belabour” the point…

    [DPF: I think it is the tick that pushes it to be an election advert]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. RRM (8,994 comments) says:

    Hey! Matty…

    Paid all your creditors yet?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    I would like to see the law scrapped and replaced with freedom of speech, but as the law stands this should have promoter statement, and so should labour’s. No prizes for guessing which one will get prosecuted.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “Labour will probably be quite chuffed by this. I don’t imagine any party would welcome being endorsed by Matthew Ridge.”

    This from the party of Keith Locke.

    Toad, which mass murdering tyrant or terrorists are fashionable this week with the Green Parties foriegn policy spokesman?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Rich Prick (1,323 comments) says:

    Or Delahunty for that matter.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. thedavincimode (6,129 comments) says:

    Will the taxi driving community be availing itself of this offer?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    Well there is an ad on Newstalk ZB maybe localised to Wanganui which always gives me the impression it is touting for Labour. It says words to the effect “Ring Labour if you need employment, maybe not as blatant but just as suggestive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Elaycee (4,081 comments) says:

    toad is at it again: “Labour will probably be quite chuffed by this. I don’t imagine any party would welcome being endorsed by Matthew Ridge.”

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    This from the same outfit that happily admired the tarnished reputations of Sue Bradford, Sue Kedgley Keith Locke, Catherine Delahunty, Nandor Tanczos plus the halfwit list candidate who set up the patsy story with the Waikato Times? This from the same outfit that still maintains support for the criminal actions of the Waihopai vandals?

    You still want to talk about reputations? Thought not….

    Hah!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. tas (528 comments) says:

    I need 500 signatures to start the SALE party. We already have half of the businesses in the country advertising for us.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. somewhatthoughtful (437 comments) says:

    So according to inventory 2, only jocks vote. good to know

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. s.russell (1,486 comments) says:

    Whether or not I like the ad (I do) is not relevant. The problem is the precedent it sets. If this is allowed then a whole lot of other stuff would have to be allowed … which would make a mockery of the law.
    Ergo, sadly, Peden is right to say no.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Michael (880 comments) says:

    Not sure I’d want an endorsement from a meathead like Matthew Ridge. Anyway, Pedan only warned Mallard for the same offence, so Ridge shouldn’t worry about it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Shazzadude (468 comments) says:

    I find it hilarious that the same people whinging about Ridge being fined for this sign are the same people who had a whinge, cry and a wank over Labour’s stop signs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    @s.russell

    Perhaps the law needs to be made a mockery of.

    The worst thing about elections is driving through the visual pollution of inanely grinning no talents grasping desperately for a public tit to suck on.

    My hope is that numerous faux signs pop up making real ones redundant.

    It’s another absolute disgrace for democracy that some idiot can be elected to a position where he can vote on laws that affect us nationally by putting up signs all over the borough.

    Ban the signage.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Alan Wilkinson (1,798 comments) says:

    The law is a clear violation of the human right to free speech. The Supreme Court should strike it down.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Sadu (123 comments) says:

    If Ridge gets prosecuted over this and Labour walks away scott free over their repeated offences, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the system.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    He did play for Manly ergo he deserves every bit of crap thats comes his way!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Pauleasbay

    Perhaps the law needs to be made a mockery of.

    Labour already took care of that for us. However I like the idea that numerous faux signs pop up making real ones redundant – great idea.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Actually all Ridge needs to say is that the law is confusing, its the way he has always done it and others were doing it too. The law will be re-written to make what he is doing legal and what others are doing against him illegal. Oh hang on, he’s not the government – he’ll be prosecuted!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. niggly (779 comments) says:

    It’s clearly tongue-in-cheek commercial advertising, sheesh EC, how anally rententive of them!

    The EC better hope that Bob Jones doesn’t put up a similar piss-take. (Like the old days and that recent prank)!

    Think the EC will be shitting their collective pants. :-)

    (Mind you, the real culprits get away, H1 & H2 and the 2005-08 Cabinet who put the framework in place. Whereas the EC get to wear the abuse).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Fox (182 comments) says:

    Ridge should make the removal of the billboards contingent on the Labour Party’s compliance with the Electoral Act.

    That should enable him to keep them up indefinitely.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Positan (378 comments) says:

    re Shazzadude: “I find it hilarious that the same people whinging about Ridge being fined for this sign are the same people who had a whinge, cry and a wank over Labour’s stop signs.”

    Some people cannot ever get anything, which is why they vote Labour. They also seem constrained by events or happenings which require a modicum of discernment – ie. being able to recognise the difference between such as Labour’s stop signs, and Ridge’s sign.

    Conceptually, I know it’ll be difficult – but I’ll try. Labour’s signs were those of a political party – Ridge’s was a straight out business attempt to persuade car owners to save their “efforts” (ie: their labour) and let his business put the “effort” (ie: its labour) into the washing of their cars.

    While one understands and accepts that anyone who’d even dream of voting Labour must be, ipso facto, possessed of considerably diminished mental abilities – the above concepts are quite distinct and separate – and while there’s similarity in the spelling of “labour,” the interpretation of each instance is quite different.

    To strain for any comparable concept that might exist between the two would be quite futile as “labour” means “work,” and demonstrably, “Labour” doesn’t work – and arguably, never has.

    Does that help, Shazzadude?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Shazzadude (468 comments) says:

    LOL.

    Both were a clear breach of the electoral laws, but only one suits your particular position.

    I loved your simplistic (the recurring theme in that post) view of Labour voters by the way. I don’t know who you were aiming it at though, myself being someone who has never party voted Labour.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Positan (378 comments) says:

    re Shazzadude

    Fair enough, but I have no “particular position.” I just want common sense employed by those who’re paid to act on our behalves.

    Only in the wildest dreams of inane PC-Yes Minister imagination could Ridge’s sign be “read” as being a party political ad that required official party “authorisation.” Obviously, our public service employs some of the most unreasoning, inept minds available – and, sooner or later, this issue will be acknowledged to be the utter nonsense it really is.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.