Last update: 11-Dec-2013 2:12 am
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Nothing wrong with political ad—Ross
Ernie Ross, whose agency Ross Advertising produced the satirical “Dear Jack,” ads which appeared in newspapers and on television this week issued a stout defence of the ad yesterday, saying there was no legal standpoint for the ad to be banned.
The advert, a spoof letter from Keith Rowley (signed “The Raging Bull”) to Jack Warner thanking the interim Independent Liberal Party leader for splitting the UNC vote and securing the People’s National Movement's local election victory, was pulled from the T&T Guardian and the Express where it had previously ran as a full page spread, after the Advertising Agencies Association of Trinidad and Tobago (AAATT) declared the ad in breach of its rules.
AAATT president, Ronald Murray issued warnings to all media houses reminding them that political ads should not be carried unless the name of the advertiser was clearly printed on the ad itself. The ad ran in all three daily newspapers on Tuesday with no attribution. On Wednesday, Newsday was the only paper carrying the ad which had been modified and was now signed “A message from the concerned citizens of T&T.”
Murray also wrote to all members of the AAATT (including Ross Advertising) and Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association asking them to greater vigilance in the run up to next week’s St Joseph by-election. Ross, in a telephone interview, told the T&T Guardian, “Freedom of expression supercedes anything else. This is a piece of political satire and makes a valid point. My job is to get that point across on behalf of my client.”
Asked who the client was that commissioned the ad campaign, Ross declined to answer except to say that it was “the concerned citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.” Told that it was still essentially an anonymous political advert, Ross replied that many ads of the same ilk had appeared in the newspapers, citing an example during the Tobago House of Assembly election in which a series of ads appeared under the banner “in defence of democracy”, criticising prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
“Why is this ad being pulled now when the same types of ad appear all the time?” Ross asked.
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