A Canterbury car dealership’s advertisement has been pulled down due to the mispronunciation of a te reo Mori place name.
It followed a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about Rangiora Toyotas long-running radio advertisement.
A summary of the ASA Complaints Boards decision said the mispronunciation of Rangiora pronounced Rangee-ora in the radio jingle was disrespectful and showed a lack of knowledge of Mori language. Rangiora should be pronounced Ra-ngi-o-ra.
The radio ad, which had been played on air for five years, included a jingle with the incorrect pronunciation at the beginning and end. The word Rangiora was said twice more in the body of the ad, but pronounced correctly.
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Rangiora should be pronounced Ra-ngi-o-ra not Rangee-ora.
The advertiser defended the complaint, saying it was difficult to change the jingle and consistency was extremely important.
An agency on behalf of the advertiser said: [The] jingle is an integral part of their marketing, in the form it is in now, and as far as the pronunciation of Rangiora and how it resonates with the listener. To change the commercial would be a nightmare.
It said the most people in the area pronounced Rangiora as Rangee-ora . The correct pronunciation in the voice-over was a nice compromise.
The ASA Complaints Board unanimously agreed the mispronunciation of a Mori place name caused harm to the language and was likely to offend consumers.
Te reo Mori is an official language of New Zealand and should be pronounced correctly in a broadcast environment.
It was in breach of the Advertising Standards Code principle 1, which outlined social responsibility, and rule 1(c) outlining decency and offensiveness.
The board agreed historic usage was not a valid reason to continue the mispronunciation of place names and the cost to replace the advertisement did not mitigate the breach of the code.
It was important to reflect general community standards and the shift in New Zealand to increase support for the mana and cultural significance of Mori names and their correct pronunciation.
Rangiora has been pronounced incorrectly in a local business radio ad, prompting a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ASA ruled the advertisement could not be aired again in its current form.
NZME, who was the publisher of the advertisement, said the advertiser requested the use of the jingle because it was an old recording and synonymous with the brand, well-known in the community.
NZME had a te reo Mori policy for advertisements, which at the time stated that Mori pronunciation of place names should be used in all advertising, except as directed by the advertiser.
Rangiora Toyota has been approached for comment.

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