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TVNZ admits Bill English promos were 'a mistake'

Wednesday 18 Nov 2009 1:18p.m.

TVNZ admits Bill English promos were 'a mistake'
TVNZ said today "in hindsight " it should not have run a promo featuring Finance Minister Bill English last month.

The 45-second ad ran more than 30 times from October 18 to promote a new series called Focus on the Economy. Critics, including Labour MP David Cunliffe, said it seemed like a party political broadcast.

TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis said at Parliament's finance select committee meeting today the channel produces about 60 to 70 promos a week, which falls under creative services and not his direct responsibility.

"The promos are not part of the news and current affairs editorial process. That's marketing responsibility. So we might slip from time to time ... in the editorial sense. We learn from that and we move on," he said.

"I have the responsibility to ensure that the editorial policies and practices that have developed over the years at TVNZ properly adhere to and are ministered. And where we make a mistake that they are properly reviewed."

Mr Ellis said at the end of the day it was a promo and in "hindsight ... we might have made a different judgment call ."

TVNZ corporate affairs chief Peter Parussini said the promos were meant to mirror TVNZ 7 content for the month of November, focusing on the recession and economy in "some sort of plain English, so ordinary Kiwis can understand".

"We probably shouldn't have done that particular advertisement.

"And the head of marketing and I have discussed how when we do the usual review of the campaign at the end of the month that we need to talk about processes, so that in future those campaigns are done appropriately," he said.

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