Earlier in the week we reported on Sky TV banning ads from New Zealand ISP Slingshot, who is promoting its Global Mode feature, over copyright concerns. Now New Zealand’s state broadcaster, TVNZ, as well as TV3 and Channel Four have joined in and refused to broadcast the ads.
On Friday afternoon, Mediaworks, the company that owns TV3 and Channel Four, released a statement saying it had concerns over what Global Mode was advertising, which is essentially a VPN service for accessing services like Netflix.
“MediaWorks TV understands there are serious questions about the legality of what Slingshot is advertising in television commercials for its Global Mode service,” said the company.
“Our advice is that Slingshot’s latest development to Global Mode means the user of Global Mode is breaching copyright, and advertising that presents it as legitimate and legal is misleading, and may also be a breach of the Fair Trading Act.”
Mediaworks added that they are referring the situation to New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and have withdrawn all Slingshot ads until a decision has been made.
Since Slingshot announced the Global Mode service they have seen a sharp increase in customers, according to the New Zealand Herald but TV stations are clearly uncomfortable. Another TV station, TVNZ, which is the state broadcaster, has also banned the ads after Sky TV made its decision.
“Sky and TVNZ need to wake up and smell the internet. People are accessing content from around the globe – Global Mode or not,” says Taryn Hamilton, Slingshot’s general manager. “This is anti-competitive, undue censorship, and an example of old-school thinking.”
He added in another report that the situation was “collusion” and “big business trying to quash competition.”
“It’s completely unjustified and we don’t think New Zealanders should stand for it. All three of our big broadcasters have now clearly demonstrated that they are not willing to listen to what their customers want and are instead focusing their efforts on trying to shut Global Mode down.”