Christchurch malls Westfield and Northlands ban Powershop ads
An advertising campaign featuring iconic moments in New Zealand history has been banned by two Christchurch malls for not being family-friendly enough.
Powershop chief executive Ari Sargent said its advertising posters featuring images of New Zealand's Nuclear Free campaign, the 1981 Springbok rugby tour protests and the 1845 Northern War have been banned from running in Westfield's Riccarton mall and Kiwi Property's Northlands mall because they were deemed not "family-friendly".
The historic events are part of the NCEA history curriculum and taught at secondary schools.
Sargent said he was stunned the posters were rejected because of their content. "There's nothing offensive about these images whatsoever."
The posters had been run outdoors without a single complaint, he said.
"We chose the images carefully because they represent the best of the New Zealand character."
The campaign was about Kiwis standing up for what they believed in, Sargent said. "We should be proud of our past, not censoring it."
Westfield was entitled to refuse advertising but in this case it was unjustified, Sargent said.
Westfield Riccarton spokeswoman Deb McGee said images of the axe and police in riot gear was too offensive for the mall.
"Two of them were a little bit threatening for the environment," McGee said.
Kiwi Property has been approached for comment.
This is not the first time Powershop's advertising has raised eyebrows.
Powershop advertising controversies:
• 2015: A Powershop web advertisement showed the image of a Bank of Greece ATM machine with an image of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, giving the finger. After investigating the complaint, the voluntary advertising industry body Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found advertising standards "allowed for the provision of humour", and that the adverts were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
• 2014: Trustpower complained about a Powershop advert in the Bay of Plenty Times with the headline "Trustpower isn't being generous, Tauranga. You are". The ASA found the advert "mislead consumers' as it contained "inadequately substantiated, and in some cases inaccurate, claims which created a false overall impression that Powershop was cheaper than Trustpower".
• 2013: Multiple complaints to the ASA claimed Powershop was mocking Catholics in an billboard ad, and suggesting the Pope supported same-sex marriages. The complaints were dismissed.
• 2012: Multiple complaints were made to the ASA over an online Powershop advert featuring a zombie holding a ladder which some people found to be sickening and offensive. Impaled in the zombie's head was a hammer and a screwdriver. Powershop withdrew the advert.
• 2011: Complaints were made to the ASA that Powershop's "Same power, different attitude" adverts should not have featured dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-il. Complainant S Maash said: "I believe everybody in a civilised society would agree that using an image of Adolf Hitler in a marketing campaign is unethical and offensive to the victims and to every decent human being." Powershop withdrew the adverts.