The Free Speech Coalition says it is crazy overreach by the Advertising Standards Authority to order a take down of an ice cream sign that includes the apparently irresponsible claim that “ice cream makes you happy”.
Free Speech Coalition spokesman Stephen Franks says, “Talk about creaming it. These clipboard zealots are surely whipping up work if this is what they need to focus on. The Advertising Standards Authority is supposed to be about protecting consumers about misleading claims – not moral pontification about issues such as ice cream waist lines and Kiwi summer quenchers.”
“These people’s head will explode when they read the byline on Red Bull ads. But with today’s nutty decision, most Kiwis would probably cheer at that.”
“Rights of free speech should be no less assured just because it is ‘commercial speech’. It is reassuring that the Advertising Standards Board is presently not a government authority. But its moralising is still adding to threats to traditional freedoms.”
Streets which makes the ice cream the sign advertises said:
. . .the statement “ice cream makes you happy” was a “puffery” statement — an “exaggerated, fanciful or vague statement that no reasonable person could possibly treat seriously or find misleading”. . .
I beg to differ, it isn’t fanciful.
Ice cream was a constant of my childhood Sundays.
My mother beat the unsweetened condensed milk until it was thick and creamy, added sugar then slowly beat in gelatine before pouring the mixture into two trays and put them into the freezer before we went to church.
Bought ice cream for dessert was a very occasional treat.
Cone ice creams were almost as infrequent – bought at half time when we went to the pictures or when we stopped at Evensdale for petrol on the way to visit family in Dunedin.
My favourite was hokey pokey and I perfected licking it slowly enough to last the half hour or so to the city.
When we were children we were sometimes offered ice cream or sweets, but not both.
I suspect that is why I now favour goody gumdrops, which is ice cream with sweets.
But whatever the flavour, a cold one on a hot day; a scoop or two accompanying berries or stone fruit for summer dessert or cooling winter puddings like apple crumble and chocolate sinker; or just when I feel like a treat, ice cream hits my happy spot.
I’m not suggesting that it could treat a mental illness, nor do I agree with the complainant who said that “ice cream makes you happy” promoted an unhealthy relationship with food.
A little of what I fancy now and then does make me happy and at times what I fancy is ice cream.
So too do most others who reacted to the Stuff survey:
The grinch who complained needs to take a chill pill, or better still a a scoop or two of ice cream, preferably in a cone because it really does taste better when licked than spooned.