Story: Advertising

Page 6. Marketing and regulation

All images & media in this story

Minor advertising media

Although newspapers, television and radio have been the main media for advertisements since 1970, there was a range of other outlets.

  • Glossy magazines comprised about 11% of the advertising expenditure in 2007. They allowed advertising to target niche markets – women’s magazines like New Idea or Next advertised perfume and cosmetics; middle-class lifestyle magazines like North and South featured ads for wine.
  • Cinema advertisements, originally silent slides, became more complex, and were sometimes elaborate short films. They made up 0.4% of 2007 expenditure.
  • Billboards on city buildings or roadside hoardings made up 3.3% of the advertising spend in 2007.
  • Buses and bus stops frequently feature advertisements.

New media

New media include:

  • the shirts of sportsmen and women, especially following the professionalisation of sports such as rugby football in 1995, and the involvement of New Zealand teams such as the New Zealand Warriors rugby league team in Australian professional competitions
  • free postcards, which sit in racks in coffee shops
  • banners on websites – spending in the interactive category, which includes internet advertising, rose from 0.4% in 2003 to 5.8% in 2007.


Since the 1970s a major development was the emergence of a marketing approach to selling goods. The first courses in marketing in universities and polytechnics began in the 1970s and 1980s, and the Marketing Institute was established in 1984.

Marketing virus


Viral and guerrilla marketing, which use social networks and word of mouth, are methods of advertising that became popular in the 2000s. One energy drink manufacturer paid an attractive young woman to walk around Wellington sipping their product, with the aim that people seeing her would want to drink it too.


Marketers believed that consumers had to be encouraged to buy through mechanisms other than just advertisements. The way a product was packaged or the events that it sponsored were all part of the brand image and raised awareness. Such spending was often up to half of the total promotional budget. It also included sales promotions, competitions, giveaways and exhibitions.

The use of computers and databases from the 1980s made direct marketing possible – targeting individuals with personalised appeals by letter or, increasingly, email. The Privacy Act 1993 imposed restrictions on direct marketing, and there was growing hostility to unrequested ‘spam’ and ‘junk mail’. In 2007 the addressed mail advertising spend had fallen to 1.5% of the total.

Marketers increasingly used research in their work. Research was of two kinds: qualitative research, usually based on interviewing; and numerical data analysis of sales, which was greatly aided by the arrival of scanning technology in shops.

Behavioural advertisements

Although most advertising was for selling goods, advertising techniques were increasingly used for other purposes. Political parties continued to advertise on billboards and on television, but there was a big increase in campaigns designed to change behaviour. Important among these were campaigns against drink driving, smoking and domestic violence. These were unusual in that they encouraged people to stop an action rather than encouraging them to do something such as buy a product.


The tradition of self-regulation of advertising, which had been pioneered by the newspaper publishers and the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies, was formalised in 1973 with the establishment of a Committee of Advertising Practice. This subsequently became the Advertising Standards Authority. The authority includes representatives of advertising agencies and newspaper publishers, along with television and radio broadcasters, cinema advertisers, and community newspapers and magazines. The authority established codes of practice covering such topics as advertisements aimed at children, and liquor and gaming ads.

In 1988 an Advertising Standards Complaints Board was established to administer the codes, and hear cases where advertising was misleading or deceptive. Despite these restrictions, New Zealand practice remained unusually liberal in some respects – for example, in the 2000s New Zealand and the US were the only countries which allowed the advertising of prescription drugs directly to consumers. There were highly public campaigns to restrict the advertising of junk food to children.

How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Advertising - Marketing and regulation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 11 Mar 2010