Tongue-in-cheek 'demolition' ad cleared
Sat, 14 Jul 2012 10:32a.m.
A complaint against an advertisement from the Wizard of Christchurch in which he issued a "demolition order for the Anglican Bishop of Christchurch" has been dismissed.
The newspaper advertisement was released during the controversy over the Anglican Church's decision to demolish the iconic ChristChurch cathedral on the grounds that it was too badly damaged to be repaired.
Many Christchurch people opposed the decision and the Wizard's demolition order for the bishop, the Rt Rev Victoria Matthews, upset complainant P. Carrell.
But the Advertising Standards Authority said there were no grounds to proceed with the complaint over the newspaper advertisement.
The advertisement said "The bishop will be deconstructed. The work will continue as long as any part of her remains in Christchurch".
It also said the bishop "shows how much she hates and despises the people of Christchurch. I have examined the Bishop's foundations and have discovered that they are built on sand. She is in a very dangerous state, being seriously cracked, and I can see no evidence that she can be made safe".
The complainant said the bishop had made no statement suggesting she hated and despised the people of Christchurch, and that statements were made that were misleading, untrue and defamatory.
In ruling that there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed, The Advertising Standards Authority report said advertisements were allowed to impart information and opinions, though there should be a clear distinction between facts and opinions.
It also said it was essential the identity of the advertiser was clear, and in this case the Wizard was well-known, particularly for his humour.
"The statements made in the advertisement about the bishop .. were used in a humorous and hyperbolic manner which was in keeping with the Wizard's persona," the report said.
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