Greenpeace has criticised the Advertising Standards Authority’s
’draconian’ stance towards the campaigning of non-profit organisations
as the pressure group launched two Websites.
It claims the ASA is driving such bodies away from conventional media
and on to the Internet.
John Sauren, a campaign director at Greenpeace UK, commented: ’The ASA
is a reactionary body. In denouncing charities, it has lost
Greenpeace has embarked on a revamp of all its sites. The first work
supports a campaign ahead of next month’s Climate Conference in Kyoto
and the ’Atlantic frontier’ offensive against dumping at sea.
Sauren cited research showing that the UK site received 1.6 million hits
between May and August.
In the past, the ASA has upheld complaints against a Greenpeace
anti-nuclear campaign, a campaign aimed at removing Shell from Nigeria
and another linking the dumping of chemicals at sea to shrinking penis
Caroline Crawford, the ASA communications director, said: ’Our
intervention has not been over decency. But advertising needs to be
truthful, especially non-commercial advertising. That goes for the
Internet as well.’
While Crawford conceded that the ASA currently has no means to enforce
sanctions on the Internet, it has been applying its code to Web
advertising since February. Sixteen complaints have been resolved
successfully, she said.