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Reality check for NZ Herald?

Sun 9 Nov 2003 In: New Zealand Daily News

Is it time for a complaint about one of the complainants in the Faggs Coffee case, mused the New Zealand Herald yesterday. The Advertising Standards Authority last month rejected complaints of homophobia about a Faggs Coffee advertising campaign that called Faggs “the great straight coffee” and said the coffee was “not as Ponsonby as the name suggests”. The Herald, who employs antigay columnist Garth George as its letters editor, quoted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority by M Bergin in its “Reality Check” column, and wondered whether a complaint should be made about it. "An analogy that I would draw would be if the advertisement had read 'Not as Otara as it sounds: Sambo Coffee', or 'Not as Howick as it sounds: Chink Coffee',” said part of Bergin's complaint which drew an analogy between racist and homophobic slurs. Since the Authority decision on Faggs was released, there has been evidence to suggest that the door has been opened for further advertisements exploiting homophobia. Two more billboards, one for TV Guide and one for Speights beer, have been erected in the Ponsonby district over the last few weeks with gay-related jokes as their punchline. The Speights beer billboard, which can be seen in the vicinity of the Gt Nth Rd/Williamson Ave intersection, features the two men from Speights' television commercials, with one saying “Interesting part of town” and the other saying “Keep your back to the billboard, boy”. Faggs Coffee in its defence to the Advertising Standards Authority successfully argued that its references to Ponsonby were nothing to do with it being well-known as a gay neighbourhood, and that its advertisements were not intended to have any homosexual connotation.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Sunday, 9th November 2003 - 12:00pm

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