It is with interest that Justice Project South Africa takes note of SANRAL’s public temper tantrum over the banning of yet another one of its e-tolling advertisements. Whilst Mr Vusi Mona’s assertion that the “ASA is a self-regulatory body and has no absolute jurisdiction over the roads agency” it is not true to say that it has no jurisdiction over advertising standards in South Africa.
If this were indeed true, then the “Advertising Standards Authority” may well be called the “Advertising Standards Association” as Fiki Masilela of Meropa Communications allegedly chooses to call it.
It is furthermore disingenuous at best of SANRAL to ask whether the ASA is “now unwittingly part of the campaign against e-tolls” and state that it has “only reacted to e-toll ads and shows no interest in the rest of the expanded advertising campaign”, given the fact that the ASA does not lodge complaints with itself but reacts to complaints lodged by members of the public.
Since this is now the sixth time that the ASA has made an adverse finding against SANRAL’s advertising surrounding e-tolls, Mr Mona and SANRAL would be better advised to, instead of childishly reacting with “fury” over such findings, consider being truthful in their advertising campaigns on e-tolls so that complaints may not be upheld, or for that matter, lodged with the ASA in the first place.
Whether SANRAL decides to ignore the ASA’s findings in the future or not is irrelevant, given the fact that broadcasters and advertising agencies are unlikely to follow suit. SANRAL should also bear in mind that its advertising campaigns are funded by citizens of this country and therefore it is extremely disrespectful of them, as a State Owned Corporation, to assert that they will continue to use citizens’ money to mislead the public.
All of this said, JPSA wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to Vusi Mona, SANRAL and its Public Relations Company, Meropa Communications for discrediting themselves even further by reacting in such a childish, emotional and grossly uninformed manner.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)