Advertising standards rules failed Wellington mayoral candidate's flyer misleading

3:22 pm on 3 November 2022
Paul Eagle - Wellington mayoral race

Paul Eagle Photo: Supplied / Jenny Siaosi

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled a flyer by former Wellington mayoral candidate Paul Eagle to be misleading.

The campaign advertisement contained a claim that a recent survey showed "88 percent of Wellingtonians think the city is going backwards".

The numbers in the campaign flyer were taken from a council survey, and actually showed 12 percent of residents were satisfied with council decision making, 52 percent were dissatisfied, and the remaining 36 percent were neither.

The authority found the claim the city was "going backwards" to be a much broader than the question posed in the survey.

The former mayoral hopeful and current Rongotai MP came third in the mayoral race, behind the city's new mayor Tory Whanau and former mayor Andy Foster.

His campaign was marred by complaints about the legality of his billboards and criticism for the costly by-election he would cause should his mayoral bid be successful.

Eagle said the complaint attempted to "draw the ASA into ruling on a point of political debate rather than making a judgement on advertising standards".

"Some may interpret the survey results differently," Eagle's response read, as quoted in the decision.

"That is the nature of open democratic debate."

The ASA did not agree, and ruled that the flyer was likely to mislead or confuse people, and that it should not be used in its current form again.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs