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Slingshot fired

Sky, TVNZ and MediaWorks have all declined Slingshot’s ad campaign because of references to its Global Mode.

Sky led the way, declining to air the ad on the grounds that Global Mode might be illegal and that Sky is opposed to “any form of piracy that undermines intellectual property rights”.

TVNZ joined in the ban, stating, ““It doesn’t make any business sense to promote a competitor’s service that encourages viewers to watch international programmes that we hold the exclusive rights to in NZ.”

Slingshot put out a media release seeking some moral high ground, looking to capitalise on long-running criticism of Sky and FTA broadcasters around the delays in airing international programming.

“Wake up and smell the internet,” suggested Slinghot CEO Gary Hamilton.

He also called on the Broadcasting Minister to get involved and helpfully provided email addresses, for both Minister Foss and the CEO of TVNZ, for anyone feeling sufficiently outraged to jab away at their keyboards.

MediaWorks was rather late to join the ban but can, perhaps, be forgiven as it was busy announcing a new CEO and celebrating the greenlight for season two of X Factor NZ. The former announcement was viewed with interest; the latter drew forth a factually- and grammatically-challenged bout of keyboard stabbing from the Taxpayers’ Union.

By the end of Tuesday MediaWorks had put out a statement, noting concerns about “serious questions about the legality of what Slingshot is advertising”.

Offering up the defence that “We understand complaints may have been made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)” MediaWorks said it had withdrawn the ads “until such time as the ASA has ruled on the matter”.

Even ignoring the dodgy logic of waiting for the outcome of an action that may or may not have been taken, it seems unlikely MediaWorks would react in the same way if notified that a complaint “may have been made” about another advertiser.

Despite the absence of its TV ads, Slingshot won’t be remotely unhappy about the amount of free editorial the ad ban has delivered for zip ad spend.

If you’re keen to see what all the fuss is about …