Okay, that’s a silly headline but it’s also a silly Act because it’s constraining the Ministry of Health’s advertising programme about the cervical cancer vaccine.
The new electoral law has forced the Ministry of Health to keep its advertising for the cervical cancer vaccination programme at a low level until after the election.
The human papilloma virus vaccination programme starts next month.
The ministry acknowledged yesterday that because of nervousness about falling foul of the Electoral Finance Act, it was sticking to just brochures and posters for primary health care centres – until after the poll.
Not until November and December will it crank up its full promotional campaign, including TV, radio, print and online advertising, for its vaccination programme with Gardasil, which protects against four strains of HPV, two of which are linked to 70 per cent of cervical cancers.
… The ministry’s deputy director of public health, Fran McGrath, said last night that in developing its promotion of the vaccination programme, it took guidance from the commission and Office of the Auditor-General, plus legal advice.
“The content and timing of what the ministry planned did not need to be changed.”
No? Then why wait until after the election to crank up the campaign?
Mike Taylor, country manager of CSL Biotherapies New Zealand, which supplies the vaccine said that the company had consulted lawyers to ensure its advertisements wouldn’t be considered political.
“[Our legal] advice is we do need to be careful: as long as we are not referring to the Government, and not connecting them to this campaign, we should be okay.”
When the law becomes farcial the Act is an ass. So too are Labour and its allies who designed it and steamrolled it through parliament over soundly based objections from people and organisations across the political spectrum and many others without poltical bias
Hat tip: Inquiring Mind