Outrage over Orcon campaign featuring Kim Dotcom

By Heather McCracken

Kim Dotcom. Photo / Doug Sherring
Kim Dotcom. Photo / Doug Sherring

A campaign featuring Kim Dotcom and an insurance ad alleged to make soccer players feel unmanly have prompted complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Multiple complainants raised concerns that an Orcon campaign featuring Dotcom, which parodied advertisements about poverty, trivialised a serious issue.

The ads said: "Every day thousands of Kiwis are living below the global broadband line. The sad truth is that bullying corporations restrict your data just to make more profit. It's called capping and it's not cool."

Complainant S George said the advertisement trivialised issues surrounding poverty which had an impact on many people.

Other complainants shared similar views that the ad mocked people who live in actual poverty, the authority's decision said.

They were "outraged that Kim Dotcom claimed thousands of people were living in internet poverty when thousands of people either have no food, no water or are without proper medical care".

The authority chairman said the ad was light-hearted and clearly employed hyperbole for effect.

Consumers were likely to understand that the speed and capping of New Zealand's internet was like "living in poverty" when compared with those factors in other countries.

The chairman ruled there were no grounds to proceed with the complaint.

The authority also dismissed a complaint that an insurance advertisement denigrated soccer players and made them out to be "abnormal and unmanly".

Complainant D Henderson objected to an ad by AMP insurance showing a boy asking several questions about his deceased father including "what was Daddy like ... did he like rugby or soccer ... did he like girls?"

To which the Grandfather replied "he was one of the good ones ... rugby ... he loved your Mum with all his heart."

The complainant said the advertisement denigrated people who "play association football in this country, making them out to be abnormal and unmanly."

The chairman said the ad was a light-hearted approach to a serious subject regarding insurance in the case of an unexpected death in the family.

It did not denigrate people or contain anything which was likely to cause serious or widespread offence in relation to sport preference.

The chairman ruled there were no grounds to proceed.

- APNZ

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