Share

ASA: Greenpeace donations site ‘encouraged anti-social behaviour’

ASA: Greenpeace donations site ‘encouraged anti-social behaviour’
News

ASA: Greenpeace donations site ‘encouraged anti-social behaviour’1

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 16 May 2012

Greenpeace has been warned against using its advertising to encourage anti-social behaviour after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint about its website which solicited donations for direct action against a coal power plant.

The advertising regulator received one complaint about a donation option on the greenpeacegiving.org.uk website which asked for an £80 donation to ‘redecorate a power station chimney’.

The marketing presented the donation as a restricted gift for direct action against a proposed new coal power plant in Kingsnorth, Kent. “Shutting down dirty power stations is just one of the ways Greenpeace is working to secure a clean energy future, but painting down the side of giant chimneys cranks up the political pressure and throws a vital spotlight on one of the greatest threats to our climate,” the website read.

The ASA agreed with the complaint that the advertisement, in asking for donations for protestors to paint the chimney with an anti-coal slogan, encouraged and condoned anti-social behaviour, which “would in some circumstances be illegal”.

“We concluded that the ad was harmful and irresponsible,” the regulator said in an adjudication published today.

Greenpeace has been told not to publish the ad again and warned to make sure that in future its advertising does not encourage or condone anti-social behaviour.

A spokeswoman for Greenpeace said that soliciting donations from individuals was critical to the charity’s independence and ability to go to the “front-line of environmental damage”.

“We're going to keep doing that, whether it's stopping climate change pollution at its source, or sailing to the Arctic to stop oil drilling. But we certainly didn't set out to flout any law or regulation on our website, so we took down the advertisement,” she said.

The ASA has only had the power to adjudicate on marketing on organisations’ websites since last March, when its remit was substantially expanded. The regulator's remit also extends to Facebook and other social networks.

Barry Johnston
16 May 2012

This is another worrying erosion of Britain's beleaguered civil liberties. The ASA adjudication against Greenpeace UK means that not only is everyone in the United Kingdon banned from promoting non-violent civil disobedience via all media covered by ASA (ie broadcast, print and internet, even Twitter) but that under ASA rules peat transgressors can even be banned by advertisers from even accepting material such as "demonstrate at XXX place" tweets, if the demonstration is not pre-authorised or may deliver civil disobedience. This repressive decision potentially prevents the "Arab Spring" from ever happening in UK. Please alert people to this erosion of civil liberty.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Age UK spends £1.8m in latest round of redundancies

21 Oct 2014

Age UK spent £1.81m on 120 redundancies in 2014, on top of £1.17m last year, as part of a review of...

CTG calls for VAT rebate scheme and gift aid reform to be part of Autumn Statement

20 Oct 2014

The Charity Tax Group is urging the government to improve the VAT system for charities in its Autumn Statement,...

BeatBullying to go into administration due to financial difficulties

20 Oct 2014

BeatBullying will go into administration after suffering “significant financial difficulties”, the...

Age UK spends £1.8m in latest round of redundancies

21 Oct 2014

Age UK spent £1.81m on 120 redundancies in 2014, on top of £1.17m last year, as part of a review of...

Addaction and KCA merge to become leading provider of recovery services

21 Oct 2014

Addiction charities Addaction and KCA will merge next year to form what is likely to be one of the 90...

Voluntary sector sees “revolving door” of staff, says report

20 Oct 2014

The voluntary sector is experiencing a “revolving door” of staff with employee turnover levels at...

Blackbaud launches online giving platform for individual fundraisers

17 Oct 2014

Blackbaud has launched its online giving platform, everydayhero, for fundraisers in the UK in a bid to...

Don't dismiss social media 'slacktivists', fundraisers told at IFC

16 Oct 2014

Charities should embrace and love charity ‘slacktivists’ because social is a great ramp for new donors,...

Nesta has made no grants to charities from its Impact Investments Fund

16 Oct 2014

Only 15 per cent of applications to a Nesta fund to invest in innovations to help older people, children...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising