NZ Herald 18 June 2020
Our additional comment: “All such agencies should be explicitly prevented from taking the sort of stance that the (Drug) foundation has. The fact they are not prevented from this activity drags the main funder of the group – the Government – into play and stretches the idea of their neutrality. The fact that the Government raised the issue, initiated the vote and allegedly quite independently then have one of the agencies they heavily fund backing the change is asking a lot of us in terms of believing their transparency and credibility. And what makes it even more insidious is that the foundation have used their platform to raise money.”
COMMENT: I view it as a very good sign that the Drug Foundation tried to slip the old medicinal line into their advertising.
It’s the line that’s led to dozens of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.
It’s the line that had Dr Kate Baddock of the Medical Association saying it’s rubbish, it’s completely misleading.
It’s the line that had the academic Bill Hodge saying it’s misleading and deceptive.
It is indeed.
Why did they do it? Because they are scared, they are scared the polls haven’t gone the way they would have hoped, they are scared this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get things legally sorted the way they would like, and they are scared they are going to lose.
The question is not really whether it’s misleading. I will be astonished if the authority doesn’t rule against them. The question is – is it too late?
Wheels turn slowly at authorities who gather to review rules.
By the time they meet, debate, decide and release their findings, it may well be too late. The deed might have had the desired affect – to suck in the vulnerable.
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