BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Group Against Liquor Advertising and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-011

Members
  • J M Potter (Chair)
  • R McLeod
  • L M Loates
  • A Martin
Dated
Complainant
  • Group against Liquor Advertising (GALA)
Number
1996-011
Channel/Station
TV One


Summary

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.


Decision

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

advertisers which:

a. employ aggressive themes; or

b. portray competitive behaviour or masculine images in an overly dramatic

   manner.


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

 

Judith Potter
Chairperson
8 February 1996


Appendix

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

complaint.

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

November

1995

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

Act 1989.

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

appropriate.