Monday, 15 April 2013

Flier flagged for speech freedom


The Advertising Standards Authority has made the right decision in rejecting an “offensive” anti-gay Families First flier opposing gay marriage. Sorry, that should read “extraordinarily offensive”:

Family First's "21 great reasons to keep marriage as is" pamphlet equates same-sex marriage with incest and paedophilia, denigrates children of same-sex couples and is hurtful to single-parent families, the Advertising Standards Authority heard.
    The complainant said the brochure was "inflammatory, largely incorrect and was filled with biases". It was "extraordinarily offensive."
    However the authority, quoting parts of the code of ethics, has ruled that the complaint against the brochure should be dismissed because of the importance of free speech.

That is an excellent decision.  The flier is wrong, ridiculous and its claims are frankly laughable. But Families First have the perfect right to let the world know just how bizarre and desperate their views are, as others should be to oppose them.

So congratulations to the Advertising Standards Authority for recognising the importance of free speech in this debate.

Mind you, if they truly valued free speech they would recognise a government department hearing complaints about the “standards” on display in a private flier wouldn’t exist. 

Pic: NZ Herald


  1. The Advertising Standards Authority is not a government department it's actually a society that misleads the public about it having some sort of jurisdiction. FYI

    There's nothing wrong with the bit of the Family First brochure you've posted.

    Are you for polygamists and adult incest marriage legislation or are you a bigot? :-)

  2. From the eternalvigilance blog:

    "As the ASA has been working with advertising standards for nearly 30 years, I would argue we are an authority on exactly that."

    This is an argumentum ad antiquitam fallacy (appeal to tradition).

    But hey, it's not as if the assumption of authority is uncommon in politics.


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