A page of the newspaper titled “Health & Fitness” contained various advertisements and
articles on health and fitness topics. A masthead heading above the page title stated:
The ASAI Executive challenged the articles’ compliance with the Code as they noted
that the articles appeared to be marketing communications that had not been disclosed
with appropriate disclaimers.
The media stated that they ran editorial pieces on some local businesses from time to time
and that the pieces should always comply with all relevant standards.
They also said that they did run editorials and that priority was given to people who place
advertising with them. They said that there was no guarantee that if a customer places
advertising with them that their editorial would appear.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the response
provided by the newspaper. The Committee considered that the articles were commercial
in nature and that the page should have included a disclaimer such as “Advertising
Feature” or “Promotion”. In the absence of such a disclaimer the Committee considered
that readers were not made aware that the content of the articles were commercial. In the
circumstances the Committee considered that the page was in breach of Sections 3.31 and
3.32 of the Code.
The advertising must not reappear in its current form.
The Committee advised the media to ensure that articles that were marketing
communications under the Code were clearly labelled as such.