An eco-activist has branded the 100% Pure New Zealand slogan a "fallacy" in a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.
"100% Pure New Zealand could be a reality and not just some overpaid ad man's fantasy," Auckland yachtie and sustainable transport researcher Peter Nuttall said.
Nuttal laid the complaint yesterday and said New Zealand could be the most pristine environment in the world.
"But it ain't. Instead, we are saddled with short-term, narrow-focused profit-driven free marketeers more interested in spin-doctoring a myth to the world," he said.
His complaint is backed by controversial freshwater scientist Mike Joy, who made headlines in November when he questioned the integrity of 100% Pure in a New York Times article.
"If nothing else, the complaint's just a way of highlighting the issues," he said. "New Zealanders think we're clean and green and the Government is doing something, but they're not."
The ASA has received the complaint but has not processed it yet.
The ASA is responsible only for the regulation of advertising in New Zealand. Tourism NZ spokeswoman Deborah Gray said it did not buy advertising here with any of the ASA's member organisations.
"100% Pure New Zealand is a campaign that tells the story of how our landscape, people and activities combine to deliver a visitor experience that is unique to New Zealand.
"Our unique combination of landscapes, people and activities cannot be found anywhere else - hence it is a ‘100% Pure New Zealand' visitor experience."
The slogan was "not an environmental claim, and it never has been".
- The Dominion Post