• Roger Sowry
Social Welfare

The New Zealand Listener's latest television advertisement which uses an implied instance of child abuse to promote the magazine is disgusting, says Roger Sowry.

"The voice over of a man and a little girl in a caravan discussing 'our special secret' is creepy and disgusting.

"There is a clear implication of a child sexual abuse situation, used purely for the commercial gain of a magazine.

"It shows a complete lack of social responsibility on the magazine's part. If the magazine has a real interest in addressing issues of child abuse, it would have directed its ad agency to create an ad with impact and a clear message and a call to action.

"The only message this ad seems to contain is showing paedophiles how to victimise kids. And I am not surprised to hear of the disturbing phone calls that Rape Crisis has received since the ad appeared first appeared.

"Sexual abuse of a child is a crime. And while the Listener might be well meaning in its attempts to publicise the issue of abuse, the actual effect will be people who have been abused feeling more vulnerable.

"I acknowledge the quality of work the Listener produces, particularly on issues of welfare and abuse, but I find this advertisement creepy.

"At best it is in extremely bad taste, and I fully support the National Collective of Rape Crisis & Related Groups in their effort to lay an official complaint about the commercial with the Advertising Standards Complaints Board.

"The sooner it is taken off air the better," says Mr Sowry.