Estate sorted, travel beckons

Farmer Freddy

Pebbles’ neighbour, Joe, looks rather fired up. 

 “Hi Joe, what’s got you so worked up?” asked Pebbles.

 “Have you seen this advertisement from SAFE about the bobby calves’ issue?”, asked Joe.

 “No, I haven’t”, said Pebbles.  “But first I need to update you with my news.  I have some good news and some, well, slightly bad news”, explained Pebbles.

 Joe sits down at the kitchen table looking slightly worried.  “I’ll take the good news first”, said Joe.

 “Well, the good news Joe is that we have resolved the claims against Freddy’s estate.  We’ve been able to negotiate an Agreement, and everyone is happy.

 “Well, that’s great news”, exclaimed Joe.  “Now we can all move on”.  “So what’s the slightly bad news?”

 “Well”, Pebbles pauses, “with everything resolved on the farm I have decided that I need to spread my wings and explore overseas.  My half brother Frank has introduced me to his family overseas and I can stay with them for a while until I find my feet.  I am planning a farewell and, of course, you will be invited”.  Pebbles senses a look of concern growing over Joe’s face again.  “Don’t worry Joe I will still be back from time to time to keep an eye on things here and next year there will be a new look Legal Ruminations next year." 

 “That sounds exciting Pebbles, for you and also Legal Ruminations.  But I do need to ask you for guidance one last time about this ad from SAFE.  Freddy would turn in his grave and would have been disgusted by the abuse to bobby calves shown in those videos, but this anti-cruelty campaign by SAFE is tarring every farmer with the same brush”, said Joe.

 “The ad was run overseas and showed a picture of a glass of milk containing a bloodied calf with the heading “New Zealand dairy contaminated with cruelty”.  What can we do about it?”, asked Joe.

 “The ad was run in an overseas newspaper so there is not much that can be done here in New Zealand” Pebbles said. "However, New Zealand advertising must meet the Advertising Standards Authority Code of Ethics, which explains basic principles, including the principle that no advertisement should be misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive.”

"The ad is certainly misleading and deceptive of the diary industry”, Joe said. 

 “Slow down Joe.  The Advertising Standards also recognise the right of freedom of expression.  Advocacy advertising, such as this, is recognised as part of a functioning and democratic Society, but must clearly distinguish between what is opinion, and what is fact. Advertisements cannot cross the line by expressing an opinion as fact.  It’s a fine line,” she said.

 “If SAFE ran this ad in New Zealand, could I complain?”, asked Joe.

 “Yes, the Advertising Standards Authority has a complaints procedure.  Their website is  You can visit that site to find out more about how to make a complaint”. 

 “Great, thanks Pebbles, I’m looking forward to your farewell party invite”.

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Philip McCarthy