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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Council welcomes the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) decision to uphold its complaint that an Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance advertisement using the council’s logo was misleading.

In June the council laid a formal complaint that an Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance billboard advertisement, erected during the council’s Emergency budget consultation, used the council’s logo misleadingly. This implied the advert had the council’s endorsement when permission to use the logo had not been given.

The ASA Complaints Board agreed saying, ‘the use of the Auckland Council logo alongside the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance logo caused confusion about the advertiser’s identity and the ‘identity of the advertiser had not been made clear’.

The Board ruled that the advertisement is ‘to be removed and not used again in its current form’.

“The council believed the clear impression being given to Aucklanders was that the council and the Ratepayers’ Alliance were working together on the consultation campaign. This was false. The ASA has agreed citing breaches of the advertising standards code”, says Councillor Cathy Casey.

“Aucklanders should, quite rightly, expect that when the council’s logo is used it is done so with integrity and that it’s a truthful and factual representation of the council”, she says.

In its complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, the council raised concerns that the unauthorised use of its logo could confuse Aucklanders and undermine its own public consultation campaign and the statutory consultation process to ensure Aucklanders were properly informed.

The council’s complaint followed a written request to the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance to remove the logo.

The Complaints Board decision, which includes Auckland Council’s complaint, is available on the ASA website.