An advertisement for a racially named money box for sale on Trade Me has been deemed offensive and ordered to be removed.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) complaints board upheld a complaint about an auction for an "Awesome Early NZ Greedy N***** Boy Money Box".
N***** is an ethnic slur, historically directed at people of African-American descent in the United States
The advertiser told the ASA the title of the box was its historical name and it was a historical artifact rather than an item of propaganda or an effort to insight hate speech.
"I am surprised to learn of a complaint about this and note there are many others currently listed as well as a huge amount recently sold on Trade Me," he said.
"I feel as though the effort to sweep history and all historical artifacts under the carpet and hide it all away will only ensure history repeats."
The ASA disagreed with the advertiser and said, in its written decision released yesterday, that the term was an "offensive, racist pejorative".
Its use in advertisements or as a descriptor for advertising any object was likely to cause widespread and serious offence, the board said, and it ordered it to be removed
It noted the word was listed as the second-most offensive word in the most-recent Broadcasting Standards Authority's survey.
The board acknowledged it had no jurisdiction over the item's name but said the use of the word to advertise this type of memorabilia - either in the title or in the description - was offensive and breached the advertising codes.
Trade Me told the board its policy on such descriptions did not allow use of the term in the title, but did allow a description in the body of the advertisement
Trade Me said it would review this policy in light of any feedback provided by the ASA.
"We also note that the advertisement was not fully amended in light of this policy and this was an oversight," it said.
"We have more-recently amended a number of similar advertisements in line with the above policy."
The person who advertised the box was correct in saying there were other similar advertisements listed on Trade Me.