Heather Roy

12 October 2017

One of the great things about democracy is freedom of speech. We can all say whatever we like – even Mike Hosking when he gets things completely wrong.

Yesterday he launched an unprovoked attack on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). He doesn’t like the Broadcasting Standards Authority either – calling for the banning of both organisations. He wants the (supposed) taxpayer funding of the ASA to stop and for people to not be able to complain when they think an advertisement is misleading or breaches community standards. The problem for Hosking is that his story is completely flawed because he forgot to do his homework. The ASA is funded by the advertising industry – not a cent from the taxpayer.

As Chair of the ASA I’m not very pleased at such shonky and irresponsible journalism. My response has been published by the NZ Herald and tells the real story of the ASA; industry regulated, industry funded, a free complaints service for the public when they have an issue with an ad.

I’m a great advocate of freedom of speech, but it comes with checks and balances – standards that should be met, complying with standards. That’s why we have complaints bodies – so that when people like Mike Hosking completely mislead the public they are held to account.