Saturday, November 29, 2008

'Thief' billboard attracts complaint

NZ Herald:
The Advertising Standards Authority has received a complaint about a billboard which allegedly shows a thief stealing electrical transformers from an Auckland advertising company.

The article goes on to explain that the photo was taken by a witness to the theft who watched him dismantle and steal 15 transformers worth $5,000 and continues

But a disgruntled member of the public has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, apparently over the fact that the billboard breaches the suspect's privacy by calling him a thief before it has been proven in court.

Madness! The person was seen removing the transformers, he was either legally entitled to remove them, or he wasn't. If he was legally entitled, he can sue for libel, if he wasn't then he is a thief, convicted or unconvicted, and the owners of the transformers have every right to display his picture in an attempt to recover their property.

To me, it seems another example of the growing attitude in our society to turn our faces away from nastiness until it escalates to the point where we can no longer ignore it because our noses are rubbed in it by the likes of William Bell or Nia Glassie's killers. Our society was so dedicated to pretending that nothing was going on that we left things to grow worse until it was too late

I'd like to see the name of the person who lodged the complaint about this ad revealed. They're either somehow connected to the thief, or are see-no-evil busybodies, in either case I'd like to see them publicly humiliated too.

Until we as a society can face up to the abuse and ratcheting levels of crime it will continue to get worse.

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