Johannesburg told to pull its ‘world class African city’ ads


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The Independent Online

The advertising watchdog has ordered the city of Johannesburg to stop running part of its “world class African city” marketing campaign because it is “misleading”.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint by Johannesburg resident Steven Haywood, who argued the adverts “contain blatant untruths”.

Johannesburg is sub-Saharan Africa’s richest city, but parts of the city are steeped in poverty and crime.

The adverts described the city as “financially stable”, and that Johannesburg was undertaking several innovative environmental and employment schemes. But Mr Haywood argued that it was not, saying it was struggling to find the funds to repair roads and collect rubbish.

In its ruling on Monday, the advertising authority said it had “no option but to find that the commercial appears to be communicating a misleading message.”