Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Condom ad 'wrong place wrong time'

Broadcaster to review how sexual ad aired during movie on the Louise Nicholas case

Michelle Blundell as Louise Nicholas in the new television drama Consent. Photo / Supplied
Michelle Blundell as Louise Nicholas in the new television drama Consent. Photo / Supplied

TVNZ has apologised for airing a condom advertisement that features a woman talking about her sexual enjoyment during a television movie about one of New Zealand's most high-profile rape trials.

Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story aired on TV One on Sunday night and told of Ms Nicholas' fight for justice when she took a police officer and two former police officers to court over allegations of rape.

The small-screen adaptation of her plight, spanning 1981 to 2007, was the most viewed show in its time slot, with an audience of over 305,000, according to Nielsen ratings figures.

During its screening, an advertisement for Skyn condoms aired that featured a woman in her underwear saying how much she enjoyed sex.

The ad attracted immense criticism on TV One's Facebook page and on Twitter, and complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Viewers said they were appalled and horrified by such an ad played during a real-life account of alleged sexual assault, and said it reinforced a "rape culture" in the country.

"Bloody disgusting seeing a near naked woman pitching condoms in the middle of a harrowing tale ... " wrote Stephanie Kane.

"Great drama and horrifyingly real - bad choice of advert," wrote Suzanne Mary Bull.

TVNZ apologised and said it was reviewing its ad booking processes.

"It was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"We are very sorry that we didn't pick this up before it went to air.

"Due to human error the programme's subject matter wasn't taken into account and it should have been. It wasn't a deliberate decision.

"The fault was ours and it shouldn't have happened."

ASA chief executive Hilary Souter confirmed the issue had been raised.

The complaints would need to be accepted by the ASA's complaints board chairman before a response was provided by the advertising agency and TVNZ and a result was reached. She said it took on average 11 days to reach a result.

Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum, former police officers, and Clint Rickard, who became Assistant Commissioner, were found not guilty of raping Ms Nicholas. Shipton and Schollum were already jailed for the rape of another woman. Detective Inspector John Dewar was convicted of four charges of attempting to obstruct or defeat the course of justice and jailed for four-and-a-half years.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 25 Oct 2014 02:04:04 Processing Time: 278ms