William Aitken's complaint against Fair Go upheld
Food & Grocery Council member William Aitken & Co, importers of Lupi Olive Oil (among other products), has had a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) upheld.
The complaint concerned an item aired by TVNZ’s Fair Go programme, in which Lupi was subjected to tests by a sensory panel which the programme claimed was accredited by the International Olive Council (IOC).
William Aitken & Co complained that the item misrepresented the sensory the panel as being IOC accredited, which in turn misled viewers about the credibility of testing and the validity of the results, and therefore the quality of its products. The company said it had informed the Fair Go reporter of the true position before the programme aired.
The BSA found that “references to IOC accreditation were inaccurate and gave greater status to the testing than was justified” and that the “broadcaster was put on notice that the testing was not ‘IOC accredited’ but nevertheless made statements of fact to that effect”.
It said: “We are … satisfied that the broadcaster did not make reasonable efforts to ensure that the programme was accurate and did not mislead viewers. The broadcaster, having had its testing process challenged, carried on making claims of status that were not correct.”
A further complaint that the programme had treated unfairly William Aitken & Co and the FGC was not upheld. FGC CEO Katherine Rich also appeared on the programme and later advised William Aitken & Co on its complaint.