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Authority backs Partners Life over ads

The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint about Partners Life’s recent advertisements.

Wednesday, June 5th 2019, 6:00AM 1 Comment

The insurer ran a series of ads that were intended to provoke people to think about unexpected death.

Managing director Naomi Ballantyne said at the time that the idea was to take an honest approach to death and spark a conversation about New Zealanders taking responsibility for themselves and their families.

The ads were shown on a range of media including on buses and television.

The campaign was pulled after the Christchurch mosque massacre.

The Advertising Standards Authority received nine complaints about the “afterlife transit lounge” advertisement, which featured a range of people who died for different reasons including smoking and choking.

Eight complainants told the authority they were concerned the advertisement was offensive and in poor taste because it made fun of death, and was especially upsetting to people who had recently suffered a bereavement.

But the majority of the authority's complaints board said the advertisement did not reach the threshold to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence.

"The majority acknowledged the advertisement is taking a fresh and slightly confronting approach to a difficult subject. While some people may find the imagery in the advertisement in poor taste, serious health events and making provision for those that might be left behind are important subjects to be discussed," its decision said.

"The themes used in the advertisement were not unrelated to the product being advertised."

One complainant was offended by the use of an expletive. The board said the use of an expletive in the advertisement did not reach the threshold to cause serious or widespread offense.”

The complaint was not upheld.

Tags: complaints Partners Life

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Comments from our readers

On 5 June 2019 at 4:42 pm RS said:
I'm slightly disappointed they only got 9 complaints, as that's a badge of success, getting ASA complaints, and nine really is just the Busy-body Grouping, not the Seriously Offended.

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