NZ Advertising Watchdog says maps are just opinion


The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority ?appears to have incredibly low standards as they are defending blatant propaganda that is not factual. Unbelievably the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority appeals board has reaffirmed its original ruling that maps are just opinion.


Since then, the billboard reappeared in the Auckland CBD. Unlike Ad-Vantage, Go Media refused to remove the billboard, saying they had been threatened with legal action from the Palestinian Human Rights Campaign (PHRC). The ASA has now ruled that the maps are ?robust opinion? and allowable because:

when it comes to strong political perspectives, there are no absolute truth or lies, just political standpoints?NZ Advertising Standards Authority decision 11/085

This statement will no doubt come as a shock to any serious cartographer.

An appeal was lodged, arguing that maps are actually representations of truth and there was nothing on the billboard to suggest that the cartography was intended as anything other than fact to support the accompanying ?Stop the Occupation? rhetoric. The ASA Appeals board chairperson, Jenny Robson, agreed to re-hear the complaint.

The appeals board then ruled that

the maps were illustrative of a particular perspective and when the advertisement was considered in its entirety consumers would realise they were not [sic] presenting a political perspective from a group campaigning to stop the occupation of Palestine.?NZ Advertising Standards Authority Appeals Board decision 11/085

Save for what must be a typographical error, the ASA is essentially ruling that the ?map of lies? does not mislead consumers because they are opinions.