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MyRepublic's Halloween promo narrowly escapes death by complaint
Mon, 12th Dec 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Kiwi broadband retailer MyRepublic has been let off by the Advertising Standards Authority, after a complaint about an unaddressed mail that was 'in very poor taste'.

The unaddressed mail was in relation to a gigabit fibre broadband package, which was half price for six months. According to the Advertising Standards Authority, the mail featured the MyRepublic logo along with the words 'we know no limits.'

"The other side of the card included an image of a man in a suit with his hands on a laptop lying in a coffin bearing a wreath with the words “lol in peace” and “Sign up to be in to win this fully pimped internet ready coffin," A statement by the ASA says.

The complainant allegedly found the advertising in very poor taste, and thought it would be offensive to those who have recently lost loved ones.

“I would like to make a complaint about this advertising card I received in my mail box on Saturday 15th October. I found it to be of extremely poor taste as did the family members and friends I showed it to. I feel it would be very upsetting to many people, especially if they have recently lost a loved one," the complaint said.

MyRepublic responded by saying that the promotion, which ran from October 12 to November 2, was a Halloween promotion to show that the company would 'go to extremes to deliver the fastest fibre internet'.

The Complaints Board found that the advertisement was 'tenuously' linked to Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead. In addition, MyRepublic had actively made an effort to avoid sending material to those who had suffered a bereavement.

"We carefully selected a target audience of 132,025 New Zealand households of new fibre address, washing the data against recent deaths and 'do not send' databases," a statement from MyRepublic said.

While a minority of the Complaints Board said that the ad would offend certain sections of the population in breach of Rule 5 of the Code, because "The minority's view was that the man in the image looked deceased and that some people would find that offensive".

The complaint was not upheld.