Labour Party advertising deemed misleading

The Advertising Standards Complaints Board has upheld a complaint [3 MB rtf file] against ’s online advertising for Kiwisaver.

The complaint was about the advertisement saying “Kiwisaver + New Zealand Super’ ‘Labours Guarantee for your retirement” when KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the Government.

The finding:

It [The Board majority] stated that the use of the word “guarantee” without further qualification in reference to a scheme that dealt with the financial security of consumers contained a level of ambiguity that was likely to mislead.  The linkage of KiwiSaver with New Zealand Super was, in the opinion of the majority likely to convey an overall impression of guaranteed financial security. 

Accordingly, the majority of the Complaints Board considered that it was not clear in the advertisement that the “guarantee” reference was to a policy only, not the security of KiwiSaver as an investment scheme. Therefore a majority of the Complaints Board ruled that the advertisement was in breach of Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics.

Now these false misleading advertisements were not funded by the Labour Party.  It was in fact an advertisement funded by the taxpayer for the Parliamentary Labour Party.  Now I have no problems with parliamentary parties spending some of their budget on advertising (so long as it is not electioneering) but it would be nice if the ads we fund were at least truthful.

The Rule the ads are deemed to have broken is:

Rule 2: Truthful Presentation – Advertisements should not contain any statement or visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or deceptive, is likely to deceive or mislead the consumer, makes false and misleading representation, abuses the trust of the consumer or exploits his/her lack of experience or knowledge. (Obvious hyperbole, identifiable as such, is not considered to be misleading).

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