Advertising standards board under fire
The self-governing watchdog for the advertising industry has come under fire for ignoring two complaints about ads depicting irresponsible driving.
The Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA) made two complaints related to campaigns from Mitsubishi, ‘Daniel’s Birthday’, and Range Rover, in which it alleges the ads depict dangerous driving and a car driving on the wrong side of the road without licence plates respectively.
However, the Australian Standards Bureau (ASB) has defended its decision to ignore the complaints, after it decided that the alleged offenses were explainable and within in the code.
Fiona Jolly, chief executive of the ASB, said the board had acted within the restrictions, saying there was leeway allowed for overseas ads and that the Mitsubishi ad had been cleared because it was considered ‘fantasy’.
Following the decision, chairman and chief executive of the PCA, Harold Scruby, called for the decision of the board to be reviewed by its independent umpires Mick Palmer (former Australian Federal Police commissioner) and Diedre O’Connor (former Federal Court judge), who recommended that the board review its decisions. In both cases the board retained the original decisions.
Scruby now accuses the board of ignoring its responsibility to the pubic and suggested that the advertising industry self-governing itself does not work.
“The code in my view is quite reasonable, but you cant have a code where the umpires decision is going to be ignored,” Scruby told The Australian.