Delamere Pleased At Industry Self-regulation

  • John Delamare
Associate Minister of Health

Associate Health Minister, Hon Tuariki Delamere, is pleased the pharmaceutical and advertising industries have accepted a plan that will see the industries monitor and regulate the direct advertising to consumers of pharmaceutical products.

The agreement was outlined at a seminar earlier this week, facilitated by the Minister and attended by representatives of most of the major drug companies, the Pharmacy Guild, the Ministry of Health and the Government's drug-buying agency, PHARMAC.

"That seminar saw a free exchange of views among the participants about whether direct advertising of therapeutic products put too much pressure on doctors and pharmacists to provide those products, contrasted with the right of manufacturers to make sure consumers are aware of new products coming onto the market," said Mr Delamere.

"It was a fruitful discussion and I am pleased to see the industries taking the initiative in guarding against, false, misleading or harmful advertising."

The Association of New Zealand Advertisers (ANZA), in order to assist its members develop appropriate advertising campaigns, intends offering from next Monday an Advertising Advisory Service on a user pays basis.

The Therapeutic Advertising Advisory Service (TAAS) will be administered by ANZA. An independent advisor will be contracted to provide advice to advertisers and/or their advertising agencies during the development of advertising campaigns intended for use in the New Zealand market.

It is expected that advertisers using TAAS will substantially reduce the cost of developing campaigns which conform with the relevant advertising codes and other industry codes.

Users of TAAS are expected to save considerable time and cost through using the service. Costs involved in rejection of advertisements by the media or defending complaints are substantial. In brief, the rules are:-

Advertisements should comply with the laws of New Zealand and the appropriate industry Code of Ethics.
Advertisements should observe a high standard of social responsibility, particularly as consumers rely on therapeutic products and services for their health and well-being.
Advertisements should not by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim mislead or deceive or be likely to mislead or deceive consumers, abuse the trust of or exploit the lack of knowledge of consumers, exploit the superstitious or without justifiable reason play on fear.
Any scientific information in an advertisement should be presented in an accurate manner. Scientific terminology should be appropriate, clearly communicated and able to be readily understood by the audience to whom it is directed.
Advertisements should not encourage inappropriate or excessive consumption.
Advertisements should not claim or imply endorsement by any government agency, professional body or independent agency unless there is prior consent, the endorsement is verifiable and the agency or body is named.