DairyNZ drops its ASA appeal on Greenpeace's dirty dairying advert
DairyNZ will not appeal the Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) ruling that Greenpeace's "dirty dairying" advert did not breach advertising principles.
The dairy industry-good organisation announced the decision in a statement while maintaining that the advert was misleading and unfair to the dairy sector.
Chief executive Tim Mackle said Greenpeace's attacks on dairy farmers amounted to scare-mongering, and were unfairly blaming dairying as the single polluter of rivers and drinking water in New Zealand.
He challenged Greenpeace to actively work together with dairy, and other rural sectors, and urban communities, to take practical steps to improve the state of our rivers.
Mackle said DairyNZ were disappointed that the ASA did not uphold their complaint that the advert effectively accused dairying of being the cause of waterway pollution without any reference to other sources.
"DairyNZ has decided not to appeal, even though we know that the advert is misleading and hugely unfair to the dairy sector."
The ASA has given Greenpeace a greater level of freedom of expression in their advertising than standard advertising because of Greenpeace's role as an advocacy organisation, he said.
"We also note that there have been very few successful appeals to the ASA against this form of 'advocacy advertising' where opinion-based messages are presented as fact."
Mackle said no one in the industry was denying there was more work to do to improve water quality and dairy farmers were trying to turn around an issue that took 150 years to create through activity that includes deforestation and urbanisation, as well as farming.
"The vast majority of farmers want to leave their rivers and land in a better state than they found them. Only by working together with other agricultural sectors, and our urban cousins, can we achieve the changes that we all desire."
Mackle said DairyNZ would continue to represent farmers and talk about investments being made to improve the condition of rivers, as well as the science that has helped improve water quality on dairy farms over the past five years.
"All of this has been conveniently ignored by Greenpeace, and subsequently by a number of commentators. By appealing we would have only given more airtime to misleading information and providing Greenpeace a soapbox to stand on."