Archive for August, 2010

YouTube the secret home of smoking ads

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Tobacco companies have spent a lot of time and money into researching how to get around the World Health Organisation 2005 ban on cigarette advertising, affecting several countries.

One such way around the advertising ban appears to be YouTube.  An Otago University study that looked into 5 major cigarette brands, found that at least 71% of the videos were supportive of smoking or normalised smoking.  Furthermore, users didn’t have to directly search for smoking, but instead it would be paired up with other search terms, such as Marlboro cigarettes appearing in searches for Harley Davidson bikes.

The study found that YouTube doesn’t consider pro-tobacco content as offensive material, so these clips remain on the site.  However, that does not prevent the public from requesting that these videos be removed under the present rules.

The article reports that in New Zealand, the Government had shown it was not willing to put the legal resources to deal with examples of indirect tobacco marketing.

How young is too young for Facebook?

Friday, August 13th, 2010

13 years old, apparently, is the youngest age at which Facebook allows a user to sign on.  However, users younger than 13 do have Facebook accounts, according to an article on today.

Parents on the whole are positive about the effects of social networking, and use of technology to keep in touch with their kids.  However, the flipside is cyber bullying or cyberstalking.

Researchers at University of Waikato, caution against over- reacting.  Parents are advised that “Strict, inflexible rules tend to be counter-productive and can increase the allure of ‘forbidden’ technology“.

Similarly, Netsafe, a non-profit organisation which promotes cyber-responsibility, advises that “parents should play a supervisory role while their kids are young, preparing them to make good decisions when they’re old enough to be independent”.

Ex bank employee to pay for fraud

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Ex-ANZ bank mobile manager Zamir Hussain, has been ordered to pay the bank $1.2 million NZD in damages, reports today.  Mr Hussain perpetuated fraud by over-lending to customers.  ANZ was only aware of the fraud after the borrowers defaulted on their loans.

Mr Hussain was taken to the Employment Relations Authority, who ruled that his breach of duty of care in the 18 mortgage transactions resulted in a fine of $54,000 NZD.  However, in a separate decision, the Employment Relations Authority has ruled that he must pay more than$1.2 million NZD in damages for loss caused by his fraudulent conduct.

”Mr Hussain’s training and experience was such that he must have known of the real prospect of significant losses being caused by his careless or reckless actions,” stated the Employment Relations Authority.

ANZ maintains that it lost more than $3.5 million NZD as a result of the fraud.