Advertising, Politics

Voting ACT: a matter of life and death

These three ghoulish faces will greet you in tomorrow’s paper.

They nearly didn’t make it.

This post was so very nearly going to be a whistleblowing story of a sabotage attempt by an overzealous newspaper advertising director.

Right at the death, she spooked us with a long list of reasons why you shouldn’t be allowed to see this ad in her publication.

First, we delivered it a few minutes late. This happens in election week, when strategies are a bit of a moveable feast. We did our damnedest to hit the deadline, but just missed.

(My remembering that I’d spelled Teresa Cormack’s name with an ‘h’ didn’t help.)

Then she said our cheeky authorisation line breached the EFA.

(This despite both the NBR and the Sunday Star-Times – hardly the right’s best friend – having no problem with the same line last week.)

Then Miss Bossy-boots said we needed to get the permission of the murder victims’ families before we could mention their names. 

How this is any business of a bloody advertising director, God only knows. Surely it’s our lookout if one of the families takes offence, not the paper’s.

Oh and I’m sure the paper’s journalists faithfully ring for permission every time they write a story about the same victims.

Yeah right. 

Next hoop she made us jump through at the end of a long and stressful day was to question whether the Privacy Act would let us publish the number of convictions each killer had accumulated before being let out to kill.

Since that was one of the very points I was making in the ad, she may have had a point there, I don’t know.

But by then, I was smelling a stinky, rotten, blood-red rodent. I felt like Don Brash trying to get Helen’s private police force to investigate the theft of his emails.

As I said in my intemperate reply, we’ve come to a pretty pass when a newspaper defends the ‘rights’ of killers not to have their atrocities exposed. 

Somehow, someone got this busybody to see sense and the ad is supposed to be running uncensored.

That said, I’m not expecting to see it anywhere near the front. (But then in this particular paper, the back is quite near the front.)

I’d just completed Plan B when I got the good news. Plan B was to go ballistic in the other media with the story of bias against ACT.

Let’s hope Saturday marks the beginning of the end of this sort of nonsense.

Another good day at the factory from Mike Boekholt, and special thanks to media buyer Gwyn Jones for fighting our corner superbly.

Hope you like the ad.


3 thoughts on “Voting ACT: a matter of life and death

  1. That’s a fair cop, Graeme. In the heat of battle, I think we all forgot that.

    I originally planned to use your namesake Burton. In the end we opted for the same examples that John Key used of killers he’d send to prison for life.

    Two out of three ain’t bad.

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