Group Against Liquor Advertising and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-011
- J M Potter (Chair)
- R McLeod
- L M Loates
- A Martin
- Group against Liquor Advertising (GALA)
ProgrammeDunlop Tyres Sportsnight trailer
BroadcasterTelevision New Zealand Ltd
A trailer for the forthcoming All Blacks and French Barbarian rugby game, sponsored
by Steinlager beer, showed a succession of images which included what appeared to be
gunsights moving around the football field and a flashing "target destroyed" symbol in
the corner. The trailer was screened on TV One at about 10.15 on 31 October 1995
during Dunlop Tyres Sportsnight.
On behalf of the Group Against Liquor Advertising (GALA), Mr Turner complained to
Television New Zealand Ltd that the images and the accompanying commentary
breached the requirement in the standards that trailers for programmes sponsored by
liquor companies shall not use aggressive themes.
Agreeing that the aggressive video game imagery was inappropriate, TVNZ upheld the
complaint. It apologised and reported that the staff responsible for the making of
trailers had been reminded of the need to comply with the standards. Dissatisfied that
the action did not include a public apology, on GALA's behalf Mr Turner referred that
aspect of the complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the
Broadcasting Act 1989.
For the reasons below, the Authority declined to uphold the complaint.
The members of the Authority have viewed the item complained about and have read the
correspondence (summarised in the Appendix). As is its practice, the Authority has
determined the complaint without a formal hearing.
A trailer including aggressive video style imagery was broadcast on TV One as part of
the build up for the forthcoming All Blacks and French Barbarians rugby match. It
included the apparent use of gunsights and a flashing "target destroyed" symbol
together with a commentary referring to the annihilation of a "major target". The trailer
also recorded that the match was sponsored by Steinlager beer. It was screened at about
10.15 on TV One on 31 October during Dunlop Tyres Sportsnight.
On the Group Against Liquor Advertising's behalf, Mr Cliff Turner complained to
TVNZ that the trailer breached standard A2 of the Programme Standards for the
Promotion of Liquor which reads:
A2 Broadcaster will not broadcast trailers for programmes sponsored by liquor
a. employ aggressive themes; or
b. portray competitive behaviour or masculine images in an overly dramatic
In view of the aggressive nature of the trailer, TVNZ upheld the complaint, apologised
and said that the staff responsible for making trailers had been reminded of the need to
comply with the standards.
When Mr Turner referred the complaint to the Authority, he argued that because of the
widespread concern about violence, TVNZ's actions should include a public apology.
The Authority gave careful consideration to this suggestion in view of the violence
contained in the trailer. Like GALA, the Authority is concerned about encouraging
violence in sports, especially those which involve physical contact. It was of the view
that the trailer promoting the rugby game broadcast on 31 October used a crass concept,
although its execution was relatively innocuous. Nevertheless, the use of an aggressive
theme in a trailer for an event sponsored by a liquor company has not been an issue for
some years and the Authority decided that TVNZ's internal action was sufficient on this
occasion. Should its staff however not comply fully in the future with standard A2, the
Authority will have no hesitation in requiring a public apology.
For the reasons above, the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
8 February 1996
GALA's Complaint to Television New Zealand Ltd - 1 November 1995
On behalf of the Group Against Liquor Advertising (GALA), Cliff Turner complained
to Television New Zealand Ltd about a trailer broadcast on TV One at 10.15pm on 31
October 1995 during Dunlop Tyres Sportsnight.
The trailer promoted the forthcoming rugby match between All Blacks and the French
Barbarians and among the rugby scenes the words "Target Destroyed" appeared on the
screen on three occasions. The accompanying commentary included the words
"annihilation", "major target" and "rampaging". At the conclusion of the trailer the
word Steinlager appeared and, accordingly, Mr Turner wrote, it breached Standard A2
of the Programme Standards.
TVNZ's Response to the Formal Complaint - 14 November 1995
Assessing the complaint under the nominated standard, TVNZ said that the trailer:
... building upon what was then the "hype" of the All Blacks tour, showed a
succession of images which included what appear to be gunsights moving about
the football field, and flashing "target destroyed" symbol in the corner.
In view of the aggressive style of the video game imagery used in the trailer, TVNZ
upheld the complaint. It continued:
This lapse in standards will be drawn to the attention of staff responsible for the
making of trailers. They are to be reminded of the need to take heed of all
standards applying to programme material - and will especially be alerted to the
provisions of A2, which hitherto has not often been raised as a cause of
TVNZ apologises for the trailer going to air and assures your organisation that it
will do its utmost to prevent a recurrence.
GALA's Complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority - 15
Dissatisfied with the action taken by TVNZ, Mr Turner on GALA's behalf referred the
complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting
As there was a great deal of concern about violence both generally and in sport in
particular, Mr Turner argued that a wider, public apology was required.
TVNZ's Response to the Authority - 15 January 1996
Apologising for the delay in responding, TVNZ pointed out that the complaint had been
upheld as the imagery was unacceptable. Further:
Action has been taken to prevent a recurrence
TVNZ considered a public apology was inappropriate as it would inevitably draw
attention to some unacceptable material. It concluded:
Besides we believe the lapse - though serious - was an error of judgement by a
director making a genuine attempt to build interest in the telecast and was not such
as to deserve wide public castigation. Sufficient we think is the rebuke delivered
by TVNZ's Complaints Committee to the individual's concerned.
GALA's Final Comment - 24 January 1996
Pointing to continuing material screened by TVNZ which he believed breached the
standards relating to alcohol promotion, Mr Turner argued on GALA's behalf that
internal reprimands did not seem to be effective. He believed that the imposition of
an order would ensure that TVNZ took more care. Moreover, he did not accept
TVNZ's contention that it was difficult to frame an apology which would did not draw
attention to the unacceptable broadcast and suggested some wording which would be