ASA Ruling Favours NGOs

The recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) in favour of Gun Free South Africa, sets an important precedent for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) using advertising for advocacy purposes.
Last month, the ASA's Final Appeals Committee found that the statement contained in a Gun Free South Africa advertisement campaign promoting responsible gun ownership constituted an expression of opinion on a matter of public importance.
ASA accordingly held that the campaign fell outside of the ASA's jurisdiction.

SANEF Welcomes Review of Practices

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has welcomed the decision by to review its editorial management practices.

In a press statement, SANEF chairperson, Mpumelelo Mkhabela, points out that, "Council has noted developments regarding allegations of editorial interference at eNCA implicating politicians, shareholders and senior executives."

Mkhabela says SANEF welcomes the decision to launch the review of the channel’s editorial management practices to safeguard editorial independence and credibility of news coverage.  

ASA Rejects Complaint Against Teazers Ad

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has dismissed a complaint against a Teazers advertisement allegedly mocking people with bipolar disorder.
In a press statement, ASA states that there is nothing in the advertisement that unduly imposes any burden or obligation on those affected by the bipolar disorder in general.
The authority believes it cannot be said that the advertisement is in contravention of Clause 3.4 of Section II for the reasons advanced in the complaint.

Sexism and Gender Roles: A Case for Women’s Dignity

Mail & Guardian’s headline for Gerry Elsdon’s suspension reads: ‘The South African Red Cross's governing board has suspended former beauty queen and TV personality Gerry Elsdon with immediate effect’. Elsdon is not simply a pretty face but the chief executive officer of Cinnamon Communication as well as the tuberculosis goodwill Ambassador for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, among other things. However, the Mail & Guardian even though the article is about her suspension, fails to focus on her achievements and contributions.

Advertising Blamed for Alcohol Abuse

Children as young as 12 are already hitting the bottle and researchers warn that alcohol advertisements are driving younger people to drinking.
Leane Ramsoomar, a doctoral candidate at Wits University, says research conducted among close to 2 000 respondents in Soweto revealed that 22 percent of respondents started drinking at 12, and the number shot up to 66 percent by the age of 18.

SAOPF Criticises ANN7’s Advert

The South African Older Persons Forum (SAOPF) has laid a formal complaint against Africa News Network 7 (ANN7), saying a billboard along the N1 near Sandton discriminated against the elderly.

The forum lodged separate complaints with the South African Human Rights Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), saying the television channel’s advertisement humiliated people and violated the law.

On the giant billboard is a picture of an elderly man with the words: “We are not old farts... Nah, not even our presenters.”

Avaaz Takes ACSA to Court Over Zuma Advert, a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere, has announced that it is taking Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to court for removing posters about lion hunting from OR Tambo Airport.

In a press statement, Avaaz executive director, Ricken Patel, points out that, "Ripping down these ads smacks of censorship and silences the voices of 700 000 people who care deeply about saving South Africa's lions.”

It’s Time to Break Turf on the Middle-Ground

It is late at night and we are having a heated debate about whether large donors should market the depth and level of their investments in a country. I am usually deeply cynical about this. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is notorious for branding everything from food parcels to pens, which remind you that you are receiving a ‘Gift of the American People’.

ASA Upholds EE Complaint

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa has upheld Equal Education's (EE) complaint against Patrick Holford's Smart Kids Brain Boost supplement.

In the complaint, EE argued that Holford's claims that the supplement will improve the school performance of children are misleading.

The organisation argued that the advertisement took advantage of young people's desire to succeed in school.


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