Sanral: No intention to mislead public with ad | Fin24
 
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Sanral: No intention to mislead public with ad

Jul 14 2015 20:15

Cape Town – The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said on Monday that it did not intend to mislead the public, after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ordered it to remove an e-toll commercial with immediate effect.

“This advert was flighted from May 28 and during the month of June following the deputy president’s announcement of the new dispensation. The advert was aimed at communicating the message that government has heard the people and responded with a new dispensation that included the 60% discount,” said Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona.

According to the ASA Sanral omitted vital information which was likely to create a misleading expectation, “with listeners believing that they are already entitled to the various savings, when in fact this is not yet the case”.

A complainant submitted that the commercial was misleading in that it suggested that the new dispensation and associated discounts were available to motorists. Yet, the 60% discount was not yet active and consumers would be paying more than they believed they were liable for.

Mona said that when the details of the new dispensation were announced, it was made clear that the new system would be implemented in phases, and the adverts were not a public call to action.

Campaign against Sanral

According to Mona full implementation of the new dispensation required a number or regulatory and system changes which had to be accommodated through a phased roll-out.

Mona highlighted the fact that information about the timing of implementation of the new dispensation was being competently communicated through the e-toll customer contact centre which deals with customer queries and complaints.
 
“Sanral believes that this issue should not have come before ASA, particularly because the adverts are no longer being flighted, which in effect makes ASA’s decision null and void,” he added.

In a statement on Monday the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) accused Sanral of wasting tax-payers' money "by spending millions of rands" on an ineffective marketing campaign “to seduce the public into accepting an irrational and unjust scheme”.

“What makes matters worse for the tax-payer is that Sanral approves of their advertising company’s production and airing of these misleading adverts,” it said.

Mona remarked that there appeared to be an “organised and co-ordinated campaign against Sanral,” as the agency had received several queries which focused only on the e-toll adverts and none on their other advertising campaigns.

asa  |  sanral  |  advertising  |  tolls
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